United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) released today the 2009 Case for Inclusion Report (www.ucp.org/medicaid), ranking all 50 states and the District of Columbia for the Medicaid services they provide to their Mental Retardation/Developmental Disability populations. The report finds that all states have room to improve outcomes and services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The Douglas Administration announced Wednesday afternoon a proposal to reduce state worker costs by $7.4 million. The proposal sent to the Legislature does not include layoffs, but indicates that layoffs (a reduction in force or RIF) remains a possibility if an agreement is not reached by mid-September. This proposal was developed jointly with the committee and represents a collaborative effort by the Legislature and the governor to address the $28 million FY10 shortfall and take steps to shrink out-year deficits.
Governor Jim Douglas announced today that 42 Vermont arts organizations have been awarded funding totaling $606,000 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). These grants will help preserve jobs in Vermont’s nonprofit arts sector that have been threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.
U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Wednesday announced that the Pentagon has increased the order for troop vehicles built in part by Bennington-based Plasan North America, creating additional jobs in the area. He said the Defense Department has approved a second contract for Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corporation and Plasan North America to build an additional 1,700 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected All-Terrain-Vehicles (M-ATV) for $1.06 billion. At the beginning of July, Leahy announced a $1.05 billion Department of Defense contract to produce 2,244 M-ATVs.
delSECUR CORPORATION, a Nevada Corporation based in South Burlington, Vermont (Pink Sheets: DLSC) announced today that its Board of Directors has accepted, subject to the approval of the majority of the shareholders entitled to vote, an agreement to purchase the Intellectual Property Assets of delSECUR CORPORATION. The consideration for such purchase will be in the form of a 49% interest in the shares of common stock of Q Tech Systems, Inc., an Ontario, Canada Corporation.
Marble Valley Regional Transit District (The Bus) and Stagecoach Transportation Services Inc. (STSI) of Randolph, Vermont are working in partnership to create a new public transportation route that will reestablish scheduled bus service between Rutland and White River Junction. In 2008, Vermont Transit discontinued scheduled service between Rutland and White River Junction.
The State Alliance for e-Health (The Alliance) will meet for its semi-annual conference. Key topics are scheduled to include implementation of the Health Information Technology for the Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which is part of the Recovery Act of 2009, as well as quality improvement and health reform. The Alliance also will unveil its latest report Preparing to Implement HITECH: A State Guide for Electronic Health Information Exchange. Alliance members will hear from a number of experts, including Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health IT, U.S.
On August 3, 2009, the Central Vermont Public Service Corporation (NYSE: CV) Board of Directors approved the following resolutions for the issuance of common and preferred stock dividends. CVPS also announced that its second quarter earnings report will be released August 7.
Rep. Peter Welch late last week voted against legislation that would subject Vermont family farmers, small businesses and artisan food producers to unreasonable fees. The Food Safety Enhancement Act (H.R. 2749) would prevent food-borne illnesses by increasing the number and scope of food inspections – but would do so at the expense of small food producers. The bill unfairly subjects Vermont farmers, maple syrup producers and cheese-makers to the same $500 annual registration fee as large, multi-state agri-businesses.
Governor Jim Douglas has announced the allocation of $1.7 million in tax credits for a dozen Vermont communities to assist in the renovation or repair of buildings in downtowns and village centers. Governor Douglas announced the projects approved by the Downtown Development Board for Downtown and Village Center State Tax Credits at a ceremony in Springfield – the site of two approved projects.
In a clear sign that the recession may be easing, commercial and industrial investment in the second quarter fell 8.9 percent, according to the July 31 gross domestic product (GDP) report by the U.S. Department of Commerce. This represents a stark improvement over the first quarter nonresidential construction decline of 39 percent.
Compared to the change in GDP last quarter, most of the components within the category of fixed investment fell, but by a moderate degree.
The US Department of Agriculture has lifted the floor price for dairy products, it was announced today. The decision comes two days after the Vermont senators and a coalition of more than two dozen senators from other dairy states met with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. The prices will rise from $1.13 per pound for block cheese to $1.31; barrel cheese, from $1.10/lb. to $1.28; nonfat dry milk powder, from $0.80/lb. to $0.92. This has the potential to increase the price paid to farmers for milk by $1.25 to $1.50 per hundredweight.
Green Mountain Power today asked the Vermont Public Service Board to authorize a 4.84 percent rate adjustment to go into effect on October 1, 2009, as part of its alternative regulation plan. The increase is primarily due to factors that affect all utilities in the region, such as the costs of reliability upgrades to the New England transmission grid.
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced grants totaling $26.5 million to 25 states to implement or enhance the Re-employment and Eligibility Assessment (REA) Initiative for unemployment insurance (UI) recipients. Vermont will get $688,156.
Captive insurance professionals from throughout the United States and around the world will gather in Burlington, Vermont for the world's largest captive insurance conference, August 11 - 13, 2009 at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center and the UVM Davis Center.
The U.S. Department of Labor today awarded $10 million in funding to organizations that connect older Americans to career opportunities. Included is $1 million to Vermont Associates for Training & Development, Inc. The Aging Worker Initiative: Strategies for Regional Talent Development is designed to train workers age 55 and older for jobs in high-growth, high-demand industries, and increase the public workforce system's capacity to effectively serve an aging worker population.
Rep. Peter Welch supported and the House passed legislation late Wednesday to address a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund by restoring $7 billion in federal transportation funding to the states. HR 3357 prevents an 85 percent reduction in Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) funding, which would have reduced Vermont’s share from $134 million to $20 million in 2010.
Chittenden Bank President Michael Seaver and Senior Vice President Kathy Schirling presented the final $10,000 contribution of the bank’s $40,000 multi-year pledge for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Campaign to Hilary Casillas, vice president of income development, on Thursday, July 30, at Hope Lodge, 237 East Avenue in Burlington.
The Orleans Medical Clinic has been sold to North Country Health Systemn. On June 30, Dr David Bourgeois sold the practice, which is located in the Village of Orleans, to North Country Health System in Newport. The doctor and his staff will remain at the clinic at the same location. The practice is now known as Orleans Family Medicine.
It’s been an exceptionally rainy and cool summer and one of the consequences is that Late Blight disease has been reported in every corner of Vermont and across the Northeast. With these weather conditions Late Blight rapidly kills the foliage of tomato and potato plants. Many hundreds of farmers and gardeners have already been stricken, and it is likely that the situation will get worse unless the weather turns hot and dry.
Merchants Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBVT), the parent company of Merchants Bank, today announced net income of $2.06 million and $4.97 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.34 and $0.82, for the quarter and six months ended June 30, 2009, respectively. This compares with net income of $2.88 million and $5.54 million, or diluted earnings per share of $0.47 and $0.91, for the second quarter and first half of the previous year, respectively.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc., (NASDAQ: GMCR) today announced its fiscal 2009 third quarter results for the thirteen weeks ended June 27, 2009, reporting outstanding top and bottom line growth. Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 totaled $190.5 million as compared to $118.1 million reported in the third quarter of fiscal 2008, representing an increase of 61% over the same quarter last year. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2009 increased 123% to $14.1 million or $0.36 per diluted share, from $6.3 million or $0.16 per diluted share in the third qu
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of 145 recipients, including Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC), for more than $15.3 million in grants to start or expand businesses in rural communities. Through Recovery Act funding, businesses will be able to access to critical capital that will help with start-up and working capital loans, building and plant renovations, transportation improvements, project planning and other business needs.
Stephen Slack, of Corinth, was named the best professional truck driver in Vermont after winning the twins competition and receiving the highest overall score in the nine competing categories at the 2009 Vermont Truck Driving Championships. The annual event is sponsored by the Vermont Truck and Bus Association.
The Vermont Economic Development Authority has approved $3 million in financing to support business and agricultural development projects totaling $7 million. Included is a $825,000 loan to MSI in Morristown, a $182,000 mortgage insurance commitment to Bradford Vaneer, and a $131,000 loan to Green Mountain Urology in Middlebury.
“We are pleased to help businesses strengthen and grow in the manufacturing, agricultural, and small business sectors of our state’s economy,” said the Authority’s Chief Executive Officer Jo Bradley.
New initial claims for unemployment fell again, meaning July could mark the lowest number for a month since late last summer when final numbers are released. For the Week of 07/25/2009, there were 830 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 77 from the week before. Altogether 13,076 new and continuing claims were filed, 478 fewer than a week ago and 5,881 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 3,799 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 123 more than a week ago.
US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is bringing US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to Capitol Hill on Wednesday (today) to discuss an effort Leahy is leading to boost USDA’s floor price for purchasing dairy products. More than a dozen senators – including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) -- from several regions of the country are expected to attend the meeting with Vilsack on Wednesday afternoon in the Senate Agriculture Committee hearing room.
Representative Peter Welch will announce the creation of the Congressional Dairy Farmers Caucus at a Capitol Hill press conference later this morning. The Caucus will be a bipartisan organization consisting of more than 40 lawmakers from across the nation. The group will seek to confront the growing crisis in the dairy industry, which has been suffering from low milk prices and escalating production costs.
Representative Peter Welch voted yesterday in favor of several bills designed to support disabled veterans. All of the bills were later passed by the House.
The legislation will provide for family members who care for disabled veterans, increase compensation to certain veterans, and facilitates research programs at Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals.