Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced the appointment of Gene Richards as the permanent Director of Aviation at Burlington International Airport. Richards, a former Chair of the Airport Commission, has been serving as the interim Director of Aviation since Weinberger appointed and the City Council confirmed him in July 2012. Weinberger has asked the City Council to approve the appointment at its June 3, 2013 meeting.
Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell and the Vermont Department of Public Service, joined by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts, filed a Petition with the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) yesterday calling for a more expansive environmental review of the impacts of storing spent nuclear fuel onsite at nuclear power plants.
GW Plastics has been named the Deane C Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year, Vermont's most prestigious business award. Governor Peter Shumlin announced the winner Wednesday morning. Presented by Vermont Business Magazine and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the award was given at the kick off of the 29th annual Vermont Chamber Business & Industry EXPO at the Sheraton Burlington Conference Center. Finalists for the award included Green Mountain Power and Instrumart.
Susan L Donegan, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation, announced Wednesday that the Vermont Health CO-OP has failed to meet Vermont’s insurance standards and has been denied a license to sell health insurance in Vermont. The Vermont Health CO-OP (consumer operated and oriented plan) is a non-profit organization funded by loans from the federal government, which submitted an application to be licensed as a mutual member-owned health insurance company.
Vermont Health Connect on Tuesday announced $2 million in grants to organizations that will provide in-person health coverage enrollment assistance. Navigator Organizations will manage individual Navigators who will be trained and certified to provide direct assistance to individuals, families and small businesses across Vermont. Navigators will also play a key role in Vermont Health Connect’s outreach and education in communities.
Vermont had the fifth highest per pupil public school spending in the country in 2011, but, typical of high-spending states, the third lowest funding coming from the federal government, according to the US Census. School spending went up 4.3 percent in Vermont from 2010. Meanwhile, fiscal year 2011 marked the first decrease in per student public education spending nationally since the US Census Bureau began collecting data on an annual basis in 1977, according to new statistics released today.
Overall bad mortgages fell in Vermont in March from February, as foreclosures were up one-tenth, but deliquencies were down three-tenths, according to a national rating firm. However, non-current mortgages remained well above levels from the same time last year. The March Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services (NYSE: LPS) found that new problem loan rates (seriously delinquent mortgages that were current six months ago) across the country have fallen below 1 percent for the first time since 2007.
The House Appropriations Committee approved a bill this week that included a provision barring the Department of Homeland Security from spending money on studying the merits of a border crossing fee. President Obama proposed the study in his fiscal year 2014 budget.
by Andrew Stein May 22, 2013 vtdigger.org When the state audited life insurance policies several years ago, Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce said that officials learned that some beneficiaries were not aware policies with money for them existed.
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development today awarded $2.3 million in grants to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board in Vermont to protect children and families from the hazards of lead-based paint and from other home health and safety hazards.
With gasoline prices rising, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has proposed an amendment to make US federal regulators follow the lead of Europeans and investigate oil and fuel price manipulation.
Sanders also proposed a 30-day deadline for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to use its emergency powers to curb excessive speculation in crude oil markets.
Local food movements across the country are springing up to counterbalance the failing industrial food system and many are interested in learning from the Vermont Farm to Plate Initiative and how they can replicate it in their own states or regions. A core program of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF), Vermont Farm to Plate is the statewide initiative legislatively directed to strengthen Vermont’s food system and double local food production and access by 2020.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would let Vermont and other states require clear labels on any food or beverage containing ingredients that have been genetically modified.
After a major fall-off in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired electric power plants of 13.1 percent between 2005 and 2012, the first quarter of 2013 has seen a substantial jump in carbon dioxide emissions from coal – a 7.1 percent increase in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period last year, according to a new Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) analysis of recent data from the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Vermont Tech is pleased to announce that Linda Rossi has accepted the position of State Director of the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC), effective June 1 of this year. Rossi currently serves as the Associate State Director of the VtSBDC and has worked with the organization since 2005. She is succeeding Lenae Quillen-Blume after many years of service to Vermont Tech and the center.
by Alicia Freese May 21, 2013 vtdigger.org Vermont lawmakers introduced 713 bills this session, ranging from decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana to naming a state native insect. Fewer than 14 percent of them passed in both the House and Senate. That might sound like a lot of legislation for 180 people working for four months to produce, but their bill-making is on pace to be pretty average this biennium.
Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell today announced the resolution of a multistate antitrust investigation against major US book publisher Penguin Group (USA) Inc for price-fixing and collusion in the electronic book (E-book) market. Vermont has reached an agreement with Penguin Group (USA) Inc to settle the state’s allegations that Penguin colluded with other major publishers and Apple Inc to manipulate prices in the E-book market.
Governor Peter Shumlin this morning signed into law a bill that seeks to protect Vermont companies from abusive and bad faith assertions of patent infringement, further encouraging the growth of knowledge-based businesses in Vermont. The governor signed the patent trolling prevention bill in front of an enthusiastic group of business leaders during the opening ceremonies of the Vermont Chamber Business & Industry EXPO. The Vermont attorney general immediately filed suit against one such alleged company.
Green Mountain Power, GW Plastics and Instrumart are vying for Vermont's most prestigious business award. One of these finalists will be named the Deane C Davis Outstanding Vermont Business of the Year on Wednesday, May 22.
Vermont Attorney General William H Sorrell announced today that Vermont homeowners have received $14.7 million in foreclosure relief benefits during the first year of the 2012 state-federal settlement with the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Residential Capital (GMAC/Ally). The settlement addressed foreclosure abuses and unacceptable nationwide mortgage servicing practices.
by Andrew Stein, vtdigger.org - The Portland Pipe Line Corporation says an Act 250 land-use coordinator didn’t give the company a fair shake when issuing a jurisdictional opinion saying the board has oversight of a prospective project. The company’s attorney also says the decision was based on “misleading” and “incorrect” information.
by Andrew Stein, vtdigger.org - Almost two weeks before Entergy Corporation and the state of Vermont are set to meet in federal court, a Public Service Board officer recommended giving the owner of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant what it wants: a permit for a backup generator.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) on Tuesday announced that Vermont will receive $6.3 million in federal grants from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), up from $5.7 million last year. The grants – under a formula championed by Leahy that protects smaller states like Vermont - will help Vermont develop prevention and preparedness programs to respond to and recover from acts of terrorism and other catastrophic events.
by Nat Rudarakanchana May 20, 2013 www.vtdigger.org Lawmakers helped state businesses this session by mitigating some impacts of Tropical Storm Irene and by tweaking laws regarding the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund, which pays benefits to the unemployed.
The Lake Champlain Basin Program has released the report Flood Resilience in the Lake Champlain Basin and Upper Richelieu River. The report presents results of an LCBP flood conference held in 2012 at the request of Vermont Governor Shumlin and Québec’s (former) Premier Charest, following the spring 2011 flooding of Lake Champlain and the Richelieu River Valley.