by Anne Galloway April 8, 2013 vtdigger.org The childcare unionization bill, formerly known as S.52, went down in flames in a Senate committee earlier this legislative session, but it looks like the legislation will live to see another day — this time as an amendment on the Senate floor.
by Alicia Freese April 5, 2013 vtdigger.org The Senate gave preliminary approval today to a bill that would allow Vermont’s undocumented workers to drive.
There are between 1,000 and 2,000 migrant workers who stand to benefit from the legislation, most of them coming from Guatamala or Mexico to work on state’s dairy farms.
If the House passes S.38, Vermont would join Washington, Utah, and New Mexico, becoming the fourth state that allows its undocumented residents to drive.
The Chittenden Solid Waste District charges a fee to accept appliances year-round at all Drop-Off Centers. Twice a year CSWD holds free round ups and welcome Chittenden County residents to bring them in at no charge. The next one is Saturday April 6.
Free Appliance Round Up
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, from 8 am to 3:30 pm (April 5 & 6 at the Williston Drop-Off Center only)
The US Department of Economic Development (EDA) has awarded the Vermont Telecommunications Authority (VTA) a $1.6 million grant to help deploy disaster resilient cellular and broadband services to towns impacted by Irene and other 2011 flooding. US Senators Patrick Leahy, Bernie Sanders, Congressman Peter Welch, and Governor Peter Shumlin announced the grant Friday.
New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares, Inc (NASDAQ: NHTB), parent company of Lake Sunapee Bank, fsb, and Central Financial Corporation (PINKSHEETS: CEVT) jointly announced Wednesday that they have entered into a definitive agreement through which New Hampshire Thrift Bancshares will acquire Central Financial Corporation and its subsidiary, The Randolph National Bank.
Burlington International Airport (BTV) has selected a joint venture led by premier travel retailer Hudson Group as the winner in its recent competitive bid process for the airport's retail concessions program. The Hudson team has been operating newsstands at the airport since 2004.
by Anne Galloway April 5, 2013 vtdigger.org Preliminary consensus figures from the Shumlin administration and the Joint Fiscal Office show Vermont will see $15.1 million in “baseline” cuts to federal funds as a result of the federal sequester in fiscal year 2015.
The estimate for reductions in 2013 and 2014 is about $9.3 million, so far.
The cuts will affect state programs, nonprofits and municipalities.
The direct hit to the state budget is $5 million in 2013 and 2014, and $6.1 million in 2015.
New unemployment claims in Vermont increased slightly last week as claims fell dramatically from last year. For the week of March 30, 2013, there were 686 new, regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance in Vermont. This is an increase of 8 from the previous week's total, and 603 fewer than they were a year ago.
by Alicia Freese April 4, 2013 vtdigger.org Members of the public gave input to lawmakers on a bill that would levy fees on non-union members for the services they receive from unions.
The Senate passed the so-called “fair-share” bill, S.14, by a 24-5 vote in early February. It’s now in the hands of the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs.
The first two months of the year, though very early in the season, have shown considerable improvements in the Vermont construction industry across the board. McGraw-Hill Construction this week released its February contracts for future construction in the state of Vermont. An authority on the construction market, the firm produces Dodge Reports and Sweets Catalog Files.
The VSJF Flexible Capital Fund L3C (The Flex Fund) announces specialty food producers, Liz Lovely, Inc of Waitsfield, as the fifth investment in an expanding, mission based royalty financing portfolio committed to growing Vermont food system, forest product, and renewable energy companies by providing “equity-like” loans that are repaid through revenue sharing.
Fuse LLC, the nationally recognized marketing agency based in Burlington, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, based in Montpelier, are the “Best Places to Work in Vermont,” as announced at a presentation Thursday night. Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce revealed the rankings of the Best Places to Work in Vermont at a special awards ceremony at the ECHO Lake Aquarium on the Waterfront in Burlington.
Efficiency Vermont and Vermont Gas Systems won national recognition last week for five energy efficiency programs serving businesses and households. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), a Washington, D.C.
Strolling of the Heifers, which operated under the non-profit umbrella of Building a Better Brattleboro when it presented its first parade and festival in 2002, is developing a proposal to assume responsibility for the Robert H River Garden from BaBB.
Casella Waste Systems, Inc (Nasdaq:CWST), a regional solid waste, recycling and resource management services company, has announced that it has priced the previously announced offering of up to $5,500,000 principal amount of Business Finance Authority of the State of New Hampshire Solid Waste Disposal Long-Term Revenue Bonds (Casella Waste Systems, Inc. Project), Series 2013 due April 1, 2029. An additional $5,500,000 aggregate principal amount of Bonds may be offered under the same indenture in the future.
by Andrew Stein April 4, 2013 vtdigger.org A bipartisan group of doctors, patients and legislators gathered at the Statehouse on Wednesday to speak out against a law that gives the Green Mountain Care Board the power to regulate physician rates.
Their overarching message?
Change the law or the Shumlin administration and the board can expect a lawsuit.
Vermont has an estimated 21,800 women-owned firms, employing 13,300 and attributing to roughly $1,887,200 according to the third annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express OPEN, a comprehensive report released today analyzing the 1997, 2002, and 2007 data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s quinquennial business census, the Survey of Business Owners.
With gasoline prices generally down recently as the "winter mix" is sold off in anticipation of the higher cost "summer mix," consumers in the US saw gasoline prices steam to a record average price in February, but the motor fuel market cooled considerably in March. Contrary to public perception, average first quarter 2013 gas prices averaged below 2012 numbers, GasBuddy reported Wednesday. Meanwhile, Vermont gasoline prices are down for the week, the month and for the year, just as they are on average nationally.
Digital media company Route 802 announces the expansion of mobile and digital marketing opportunities for Vermont businesses in the travel and tourism industry with its newly created Vermont Travelers' Information Network (VTIN). "The VTIN is currently comprised of 14 community-based mobile apps, including BurlApp in Burlington and UnLost Stowe, that enables businesses to communicate more effectively with their customers," says Route 802 founder Al Levy.
by Andrew Stein April 3, 2013 vtdigger.org On Tuesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin stepped into the national limelight with former senior adviser to President Obama, David Axelrod, to talk about health care reform and governor races across the country.
The two Democratic leaders joined Joe Scarborough and gang on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Shumlin touted the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, for the federal funds that it’s bringing into the state.
As part of its commitment to local communities and Brewing a Better World Together, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc, (NASDAQ: GMCR), has committed over $340,000 to 12 Vermont non-profit organizations working on creating sustainable local food systems.
Governor Peter Shumlin and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (VCE) today announced the publication of the Second Atlas of Breeding Birds of Vermont, the most complete assessment of birds ever assembled for the state and an encyclopedia of avian knowledge for everyone from scientists to school students to backyard birdwatchers.
The 10-year atlas project recruited more than 300 Vermont volunteers to catalog 202 bird species nesting in the state, identifying species at risk and others faring well.
US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is seeking applications to provide assistance to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty.
Visitors made an estimated 13.95 million person trips to Vermont during 2011 for leisure, business or personal travel. Direct spending by visitors for goods and services totaled $1.7 billion, according to a report released today by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing (VDTM).
The biannual VDTM comprehensive research study titled: “A Benchmark Study of the Economic Impact of Visitor Expenditures on the Vermont Economy – 2011,” was prepared by Chmura Economics and Analytics.
Rutland City Treasurer Wendy Wilton presented the Fiscal year 2012 audited financial statements to the Rutland City Board of Aldermen on April 1 with continued good news of the City’s financial status. For the second year the City of Rutland has maintained the unqualified (clean) opinion of its financial statements received last year. The unqualified opinion received for fiscal year 2011 was the first unqualified opinion the City received in 32 years.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., a leader in specialty coffee and coffee makers, today announces its Keurig single cup system has been recognized as the "Brand of the Year" in the coffee maker category in the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend Equity Study. For the second consecutive year, the Keurig system has received the highest ranking in the coffee maker category based on consumers' perceptions of familiarity, quality and purchase consideration, a selection of several qualifying elements evaluated.
by Andrew Stein April 2, 2013 vtdigger.org The Vermont House is gearing up to vote on the largest capital bill ever, in terms of total dollars.
The state bonding and construction bill for fiscal years 2014 and 2015 is slated to hit the House floor on Thursday. It’s the second biennium in a row that the bill includes two years of spending, whereas previous capital bills were based on annual cycles.