Nearly $227,000 of new funding is being distributed to the Vermont State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to help Medicare beneficiaries in Vermont get more information about their health care choices.
The funds are part of the $35.8 million being distributed to the 54 SHIPs that provide Medicare beneficiaries with local, personalized assistance on a wide variety of Medicare and health insurance topics.
Governor Jim Douglas will host a Summit on Pathways to Economic Stability at the State House on Monday, April 6. Governor Douglas will be joined by legislators, business leaders, community advocates, and others to develop recommended priorities and create pathways to economic stability for all Vermonters.
As the challenges facing our state become more and more urgent, it is vital that we harness existing public initiatives, private partnerships, and our communities to address the root causes of poverty and identify both short- and long-term solutions.
At its March 25, 2009 meeting, CSWD Board of Commissioners proposed an amendment to its Solid Waste Management Ordinance to increase the solid waste management fee from $17.61 to $22.06 effective July 1, 2009. The fee is charged on each ton of trash generated in Chittenden County that is landfilled. The proposal would also reduce the tipping fee for recyclables at the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) from $20 per ton to $10 per ton.
In an awards ceremony Wednesday evening, NRG Systems of Hinesburg and BioTek of Winooski were the big winners at the 2009 Best Places to Work event hosted by Vermont Business Magazine, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Society of Human Resource Management. The event was held at the Main Street Landing Film House in Burlington. The companies were honored based on the results of surveys given to each company's employees. The awards honored five large companies (Over 150 employees) and 10 small & medium sized companies (15 to 149 employees).
Customers, shareholders and several Vermont businesses have contributed to a banner year for CVPS Shareheat, raising a record amount of money to help Vermonters avert heating crises.
With donations continuing to come in, more than $375,000 has been raised for the 2008-2009 heating season, raising the program total to nearly $3.2 million since its inception in 1987. The previous record was less than $250,000 in one year.
The Vermont Senate today passed the FY09 Budget Adjustment bill with a 26-1 vote. The passage of this bill will ensure that Vermont continues to maintain vital state services. The bill also allows the state to draw down millions of dollars made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In addition to balancing the state budget, these dollars will put Vermonters to work and repair our crumbling roads and bridges.
The University of Vermont has announced that three new legislative trustees, a gubernatorial appointee, and a new student trustee are joining its board of trustees. The new legislative trustees, elected by the Vermont General Assembly to six-year terms, are Carolyn Branagan, Christopher Bray, and David Potter. Governor Douglas has appointed Mark Young, who previously served as a legislative trustee from 2002-2007, to a six-year term.
A new company called ASK-intTAG will begin to manufacture electronically enhanced identification cards at the IBM facility in Essex Junction as early as this summer. A joint venture of ASK SA from France and WS Packaging from Green Bay, WI, the new company will compete in the growing market for enhanced driver’s licenses, passports and other secure forms of identification. ASK already produces such products for the US market in France. It uses imbedded computer chips and tiny antennas for the radio transmission technology.
Week Ending March 28, 2009 There were 1,179 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, an increase of 109 from the week before. Altogether 18,599 new and continuing claims were filed, 92 less than a week ago and 7,754 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 1,955 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 13 less than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,140 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 52 from the week before.
Today, Ben & Jerry's lifted the lid on an April Fool's Day event aimed at raising consumer awareness of the government's recent approval of cloned milk and meat within the human food supply chain. In late-March Ben & Jerry's went undercover through the launch of Cyclone Dairy, a fictitious dairy company marketing milk made from 100% cloned cows, to gauge consumer reaction surrounding this issue.
Governor Douglas today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services has released more than $2.7 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to support expanded services at eight community health centers across Vermont. The funds are part of a total $338 million investment in centers nation wide.
Community Health Centers were asked to submit plans explaining how the funds would be used. While proposals vary among grantees, strategies may include adding new providers, expanding hours of operations or expanding health services.
Ledyard Financial Group, Inc. (LFGP) announced today that its Board of Directors has voted to not participate in the U.S. Treasury Department’s Capital Purchase Program (CPP). Ledyard was approved for funds, but after careful review of Ledyard’s core businesses and capital position, the constraints and uncertainties of the CPP, and the overall strength of the Company, the Board of Directors decided to withdraw Ledyard’s application.
Members of a leading small business association today gathered at the State House to impress upon Governor Douglas and their legislators the difficulty they are having surviving in the current economic climate. Small business owners urged the governor and legislative leaders to focus on policies and programs that make Vermont a more business-friendly state for entrepreneurs and small employers.
Governor Douglas on Wednesday will announce that a major new manufacturer will be setting up operations at IBM’s Essex facility and he will formally welcome them to Vermont. The announcement will be made at the IBM Microelectronics facility Presentation Center in Essex Junction at 3:30 pm.
US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Tuesday that Vermont will receive $4,068,000 for several adult and youth workforce development programs across the state. Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured the funds in the annual appropriations bill passed by the Congress signed into law by President Obama earlier this month.
Governor Douglas announced Monday a supplemental education funding plan for FY2010 and FY2011 that will make use of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds to hold down property taxes, reform the Education Fund and help bring sustainability to the General Fund without the need for costly tax increases proposed by the Legislature. This proposal comes in light of new information about the federal recovery money and the actions of school districts and the Legislature since the Governor’s budget recommendation in January.
The proportion of Vermont households with high-speed or broadband Internet connections has increased from 9% in 2001 to slightly more than 66% in 2009, according to the statewide Vermonter Poll conducted by the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont. Of households that did not have Internet or broadband, nearly 46% said that they knew broadband was available to them, while 17% were not sure.
Arne Duncan, United States Secretary of Education, will be the 2009 commencement speaker at Saint Michael's College on Thursday, May 14, at 10 a.m. in the Ross Sports Center. Secretary Duncan will address the 516 graduating seniors earning bachelor’s degrees and 50 graduate students who are present, earning master’s degrees, and their families, together totaling some 3,000 people at the college’s graduation ceremonies. U.S.
The House Appropriations Committee this morning voted 9-2 to pass the Transportation Bill, which includes Speaker Shap Smith’s $120 million jobs and transportation infrastructure package. The bill will be up for action on the House floor beginning Tuesday.
State government tax collections totaled $781.8 billion in fiscal year 2008 ($2.5 billion in Vermont), a $24.5 billion (3.2 percent) increase from 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. According to data from the 2008 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections,taxes on individual income were $280.7 billion, up 5.1 percent; general sales taxes were $240.6 billion, up 0.9 percent; and corporation net income taxes were $51.8 billion, down 2.5 percent. These taxes made up 73.3 percent of all state tax collections nationally.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of the Tully’s Coffee® brand and wholesale coffee business from Tully’s Coffee Corporation for the purchase price of $40.3 million.
Governor Douglas announced today that he is asking the Legislature to amend the unemployment compensation law to provide additional weeks of benefits to individuals in approved training. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recently passed by Congress, states must meet a number of benchmarks including the additional weeks of benefits to qualify for all of $13.9 million available to assist Vermont.
The first funds from the federal stimulus package are now coming in to state coffers, and Governor Douglas and lawmakers have differing plans to spend the money, specifically the $94 million in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds. Eighty-two percent of that money must be spend on education, but the remainder can be allocated elsewhere.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas Tremblay is pleased to announce the selection of Major Thomas L’Esperance as the next Director of the Vermont State Police. Major L’Esperance will assume the duties of Director following Colonel James Baker’s retirement on June 30, 2009. Today’s announcement will provide Major L’Esperance and the Vermont State Police time to plan a seamless transition of leadership.
The region's largest biotechnology association today warned that a bill under consideration by the Vermont Legislature will create the most restrictive and onerous regulatory environments for biotechnology growth and development not only in New England, but in the entire nation. Senate Bill 48, an Act Relating to the Marketing of Prescribed Products, is the focus of a presentation today at the State House by Senate President Peter Shumlin.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that approximately 200 million pounds of nonfat dry milk (NDM) will be transferred from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service for use in domestic food programs. This will help support families who rely on food assistance programs as well as dairy farmers struggling with low prices and high feed costs.
Governor Jim Douglas today announced a new partnership with the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association that gives the go-ahead to expand tapping on some state land. The announcement came as the Governor kicked off the 8th annual Maple Open House Weekend at Marcia Maynard and Ken Denton’s sugarhouse in Cabot.
The Vermont Department of Labor announced today that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2009 was 7.0 percent, up two-tenths of a point from the revised January rate and up 2.6 points from a year ago.