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.
In 1991, Anita Hill was thrust into the public spotlight when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during then Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing. The legacy of her testimony includes an increased awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace today. Hill, now a law professor at Brandeis University, has continued to speak widely on social and political issues facing our world.
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) released a study analyzing the total energy usage of very energy efficient homes constructed in Proctorsville. The results demonstrate that high levels of energy efficiency make a substantial difference in the cost of owning a home.
Bruce Whitney of the Rockingham Area Community Land Trust (RACLT) in Springfield commented, “The amount of savings generated by these extremely efficient homes is incredible. They truly make homeownership affordable.”
Governor Douglas today announced a bold new economic plan to build SmartVermont – by laying the foundation for a 21st century economy. The proposals will invest $17.1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) State Fiscal Stabilization Funds (SFSF) to leverage nearly $160 million in direct support to new and exciting companies looking to grow and expand in the Green Mountain State as well as much needed support for existing Vermont employers. Initiatives will be largely administered by the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) which
Each June, REALTOR Magazine features 30 rising young stars in the real estate industry. This year, Adam Hergenrother of RE/MAX North Professionals in Colchester, is among the 50 finalists for this prestigious recognition.
More than $10.3 million for Vermont energy efficiency and conservation projects was awarded today, Senator Bernie Sanders announced.
The funds are Vermont’s share of $3.2 billion included in the economic stimulus bill for a Sanders-sponsored Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.
“Helping states, cities and towns go forward with energy efficiency and sustainable energy projects will reduce carbon emissions, lower energy costs and create good-paying jobs,” Sanders said.
Representative Peter Welch introduced an energy efficiency bill today designed to retrofit millions of homes and commercial buildings and increase efficiency by 20 percent or more nationally.
Welch outlined the bill at a Capitol Hill press conference Thursday with many of the bill’s 30 cosponsors and representatives from national efficiency, contracting and environmental groups.
The Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) program would provide financial incentives to homeowners and businesses to reduce their energy use and save them money.
The cold weather from this winter was greeted warmly by officials at IBM in Essex, which has started using frigid winter air to help produce the chilled water it needs to operate the plant’s high-tech manufacturing facilities.
The new system, called Free Cooling, integrates cold air into the plant’s large climate control system to produce 50% of its winter-cooling needs. By taking advantage of the plentiful wintry air, IBM can shut down some of its large chillers, resulting in a projected savings of $400,000 per year in electric costs.
On Tuesday, April 7, at 6:30 p.m., a panel of sports professionals and environmental advocates will participate in a discussion at Middlebury College titled “Jocks and Treehuggers: Pro Athletes on Sustainability.” The event is free and open to the public and will take place in Room 216 of McCardell Bicentennial Hall, located on Bicentennial Way off College Street (Route 125).
Statement of Governor James H Douglas Regarding Same-sex Marriage: “The urgency of our state’s economic and budgetary challenges demands the full focus of every member and every committee of this Legislature. Ensuring that the federal recovery money is spent wisely, that the state budget is balanced and responsible, and that we do all we can to help our employers compete and create jobs is my top priority.
Today, Governor Douglas announced his intention to veto S115, which has not completed the legislative process.
“The governor’s announcement today undermines the legislative process is disrespectful to Vermonters who come to the people’s house to weigh in on the important matters of our time,” said Speaker Shap Smith. “History will judge Jim Douglas on the wrong side of this issue.”
Week Ending March 21, 2009. There were 1,070 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance last week, a decrease of 298 from the week before. Altogether 18,691 new and continuing claims were filed, 69 more than a week ago and 7,861 more than a year earlier. The Department also processed 1,968 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 30 more than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,088 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program which is an increase of 36 from the week before.
Vermont maple syrup producers are each being asked to donate one gallon of syrup in order to send a taste of Vermont springtime to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the fifth year, the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association is organizing “Operation Vermont Maple Sweetness 2009” which will package the donated syrup into one pint containers and ship them to bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 8000 pints of syrup were sent in 2008.
The Vermont Department of Education released 2009 school accountability determinations as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA) today. The department determines whether schools meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Those that do not meet AYP enter School Improvement.
One school exited School Improvement.
Seventy-seven schools, or 25 percent, are now in School Improvement.
Thirty-one of those schools are now in Corrective Action.
Eighty-eight schools, or 29 percent, did not make AYP this year.
Mack Molding Co. has been named a winner of Managing Automation Media’s prestigious 2009 Progressive Manufacturing 100 Award for its recently completed Energy Efficient Lighting Technology Project, which affected all three Vermont plants.