Vermont Business Magazine For the second year running, Vermont scored highest among the 50 states and District of Columbia in public health protection readiness, according to the new National Health Security Preparedness Index. The Index measures the nation's ability to keep people safe and healthy in the event of epidemics, foodborne disease outbreaks, terrorism and other large-scale public health emergencies. Overall, Vermont scored 7.8 out of 10 points, compared to the national average of 6.8.
by John McClaughry Not so long ago – 2015 – the carbon tax was all the rage among such organizations as VPIRG, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Conservation Law Foundation, and Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility. Their argument was straightforward. Humankind’s penchant for making use of fossil fuels is (so they believe) inexorably driving the planet toward catastrophic warming by the end of this century. The hour is late! “The science is settled”! Anyone who harbors any doubt is an ignorant yahoo or a tool of the fossil fuel interests!
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) has approved $57.4 million in bond and loan financing to support a variety of economic development projects throughout Vermont. "VEDA is pleased to make tax-exempt bond financing available for a large-scale nonprofit development project that will produce jobs," said VEDA Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.
Vermont Business Magazine Berkshire Hills Bancorp, Inc (NYSE: BHLB), the parent company of Berkshire Bank with branches in southwestern Vermont, reported on Monday first quarter 2017 earnings of $15.5 million, or 44 cents per share. Core earnings totaled $19.4 million, or $0.55 per share. Net income increased by 50 percent over the prior quarter and core earnings increased by 8 percent, including the first full quarter benefit of the acquired First Choice operations. Non-core after-tax merger charges totaled $0.12 per share for the quarter.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of John Quinn as Secretary of Digital Services and Chief Information Officer. Quinn will lead the Agency of Digital Services (ADS), which was created by Gov. Scott under Executive Order 06-17 to establish a unified organizational structure for the state’s Information Technology (IT) portfolio.
Vermont Business Magazine Attorney General Donovan today joined a multistate letter calling out the US Department of Education for abdicating its responsibility to millions of student loan borrowers. The Department is revoking critical reforms designed to help students avoid default and curtail loan servicer misconduct. The multistate letter – co-sponsored by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and joined by 19 attorneys general and the Office of Consumer Protection of Hawaii – was sent to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in opposition to the Department’s recent rollback of guidance intended to protect student loan borrowers and reform the student loan servicing industry.
Vermont Business Magazine Nine Chittenden County municipalities and three other entities are launching Rethink Runoff, a new multi-year public education and participation campaign focused on reducing the impacts of stormwater runoff.
Leonine Public Affairs The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the state FY18 budget bill on Friday afternoon. The Senate Appropriations Committee transferred approximately $8 million of teacher retirement expenses from the General Fund to the Education Fund. This freed up $8 million of General Fund dollars to fund numerous items on the committee’s “wish list” including the Vermont State Colleges, early education, Medicaid rate increases for mental health and home and community based providers and retaining the “cold weather exemption” for the homeless, among other things. The Senate Appropriations Committee also used $4.2 million in proceeds from a recent Volkswagen court settlement to make one-time investments in a variety of areas.
Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont has broken ground on a new $1.4 million headquarters for UVM Rescue, a student-run organization created in 1972 that provides advanced life support ambulance services to the campus and greater Chittenden County. In 2016, UVM Rescue received 1,615 service calls. UVM Rescue’s new home, to be located on the south end the of the parking lot at 284 East Avenue, will open in the fall of 2017. The service is now located within the 284 East Avenue complex.
Vermont Business Magazine The Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce will unveil the new regional visitors guide on Thursday, April 27th in two locations. The area guide, a staple of the Chamber’s tourism efforts, is updated yearly and distributed throughout the Northeast as a way to showcase the region’s various tourist attractions. This year, as the Chamber announced its 2020 Vision to become a fully regional chamber, the visitors guide took on a new mission as well.
Vermont Business Magazine State Treasurer Beth Pearce, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy Director John Pelletier, and members of the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission today urged policymakers to act on the recommendations contained in the Commission’s 2017 Financial Literacy Report.