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McClaughry: The difficult legislative agenda of 2018

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 5:01am -- tim

by John McClaughry The biennial session of the Legislature that convenes this week will face more than its share of hot button issues. Here’s a quick survey of the 2018 agenda. State finances: The legislature faces a FY2019 General Fund budget deficit projected to surpass $40 million. The bright side of this coin is that covering a deficit puts a strong damper on everpresent demands for new spending that would require tax increases. 

Rutland Regional receives 5-Star rating from Healthgrades

Tue, 01/02/2018 - 3:51am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Rutland Regional Medical Center announced that it has achieved a 5 Star rating for its performance in Total Knee Replacement, Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Gall Bladder Surgery from Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. 

Graff Report: Book details the lengthy career of Patrick Leahy

Mon, 01/01/2018 - 6:39am -- tim

by Chris Graff In the 1994 movie Forrest Gump ("Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.") the main character witnesses and at times influences some of the defining events of the 20th century. There's Gump as an all-American football player, serving in Vietnam, meeting President John F Kennedy, causing the resignation of President Richard Nixon and investing in Apple Computer before anyone realized its potential. The story is absolutely implausible. No person could ever be present as so much history unfolds.

Weekly unemployment claims spike as holiday hiring ends

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 9:37pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims nearly doubled last week as holiday hiring neared its end. Volatility is typical this time of year. Claims remained lower than at the same time last year, as they have been for most weeks in 2017. For the week of December 23, 2017, there were 1,323 claims, 635 more than than they were last week but 210 fewer than they were a year ago.

Walmart Foundation supports Easterseals Vermont Military & Veterans Services

Sun, 12/31/2017 - 9:11pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Easterseals Vermont is happy to announce a $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation for its Military & Veterans Services program. This significant gift will allow Easterseals VT to provide Care Coordination and emergency financial assistance when no other resource is available to ensure the health and well-being of those who have served our country. Since the program was established in 2014, the program has helped 501 veterans, services members, and their family members.   

Scott seeks new DMV commissioner

Sat, 12/30/2017 - 1:49pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott is seeking interested and qualified applicants for Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DMV Commissioner Robert Ide announced in October that he would be retiring in December after eight years as head of DMV and a long tenure in state and local public service.

Deerfield Wind begins operation

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 5:54pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Avangrid Renewables, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc (NYSE: AGR), began commercial operation at its newest wind farm, and first in Vermont, the Deerfield Wind Farm, in the towns of Readsboro and Searsburg December 29. The new wind farm construction, which created nearly 200 jobs at its peak and millions of dollars of local spending, is the first wind farm on US Forest Service land in the country.

UVM Health Network to relocate captive insurance company to Vermont

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 5:44pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine The University of Vermont Health Network will be moving its captive insurance company to Vermont from Bermuda. The action comes as the result of a unanimous decision by the Board of Directors of VMC Indemnity Company, Ltd, the health network subsidiary that provides medical malpractice insurance coverage for its medical providers.

Governor Scott appoints Randy Brock to the Vermont Senate

Fri, 12/29/2017 - 5:41pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott has announced the appointment of Randy Brock, of Swanton, to represent the Franklin District in the Vermont State Senate. Brock, a Republican, will replace Dustin Degree, who stepped down from the Senate last month to serve in the Scott Administration as special assistant to the Governor and director of workforce expansion. 

Smith: Copley could be punished for its success

Wed, 12/27/2017 - 8:21am -- tim

by Mike Smith Nearly two years ago, as an April Fool’s joke, I announced on my radio program that I had to take two weeks off because in Vermont if your ratings are better than your competition then you must throttle back on your success to allow other stations to catch up. “It’s a regulatory requirement imposed by the state,” I told the audience in jest. Since I was taking the next two weeks off for vacation it was a perfect time to try to pull off this prank.

But in health care this isn’t a prank.