Leonine Public Affairs This week guns dominated the conversation in the State House once again. Later in this newsletter is a summary of these discussions. Beyond both chambers’ extended debates on gun legislation their respective committees spent time digging into the details on many of the bills that made the crossover deadline. We are now heading into week 13, which theoretically means there are six weeks remaining in the 2018 legislative session, which in turn means committees face a countdown clock to finish their work.At this point in the session no one issue has presented itself as something that would result in the session running longer than 18 weeks. While the gun control bills are very controversial, it appears they have been fast-tracked and are likely to be wrapped up well in advance of adjournment. Last year the legislative session ran long because the House and Senate were involved in a stand-off with the governor over teacher healthcare plans. The House-passed revenue bill could create such a stand-off as the governor does not support it because it creates $60 million in new income taxes to pay for the Education Fund.
by Zach Cockrum and Brian Shupe For anyone paying attention to Congress, it would a significant understatement to say it has not exactly been a pillar of bipartisan cooperation and common-sense deal making the last few years. That is especially the case on environmental issues, where the Trump administration and a majority in Congress have fought tooth and nail to undermine bedrock environmental protections for clean air, water, land and wildlife.
Vermont Business Magazine The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department says warm spring weather and melting snows will cause bears to come out of their winter dens in search of food. The department recommends taking down bird feeders on April 1 to avoid attracting them. Bears are very fond of suet and bird seed, especially black oil sunflower seed. Bringing feeders in at night doesn’t work, because bears will still feed on seed that is spilled on the ground.
Vermont Business Magazine The Burlington Business Association (BBA) will raffle a Rolex watch, generously donated by Perrywinkle’s Fine Jewelry! A portion of the proceeds from this raffle will go to the Howard Center Street Outreach Team. The winning raffle ticket will be drawn at the BBA Annual Dinner on Thursday April 5th, 2018. It is not required to be present to win.
Vermont Business Magazine On Tuesday the House held a marathon floor session to give final approval to S.55, a gun safety bill. The bill would ban “bump-stocks,” limit the capacity of ammunition magazines, require background checks for private gun sales and increase the age at which one can purchase a firearm from 18 to 21. After considering numerous proposed amendments the House approved the bill on a 89-54 roll call vote.
Vermont Buisness Magazine In anticipation of a legislative ban on standard capacity rifle magazines, the editors of RECOIL magazine have worked with MAGPUL Industries to facilitate the delivery and distribution of 30-round PMAG rifle magazines free of charge to the citizens of Vermont in an overnight operation dubbed the “Green Mountain Airlift.”
by Timothy McQuiston Vermont Business Magazine It seemed like a good idea at the time, but just six months after the most recent microcell/911 service was rolled out in two rural areas of the state, the service is dying. The Department of Public Service told VBM Friday that it could cease service as early as Easter Sunday.
Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott today announced that Secretary of Administration Susanne Young has updated Vermont’s procurement requirements, per Executive Order No. 02-18, to ensure net neutrality protections are included in the State’s internet service contracts.
by Paul Cillo Public Assets Institute While state leaders work on neutralizing a $30 million state income tax increase that would result from federal tax reform, there has been not a word about the much bigger state impact of that reform: the $500 million tax cut mostly for those at the top and the likely cuts in federal support for state services.
Vermont Business Magazine A group of Vermont gun owners held a press conference to advocate for the passage of the gun violence prevention bills currently before the Vermont Legislature Thursday. The gun owners, from around Vermont, gathered at the State House to let elected officials know that they support what they call the common sense gun safety measures being debated.
Vermont Business Magazine Weekly unemployment claims last week fell in their recent up-and-down pattern as levels remain just below the same time last year. For the week of March 24, 2018, there were 450 claims, 288 more than than they were the previous week, and 19 fewer than they were a year ago. Altogether 5,887 new and continuing claims were filed, a decrease of 201 from a week ago and 829 fewer than a year ago. For most weeks of 2017 and into 2018 claims have been below the year before.
Vermont Business Magazine Brattleboro Memorial Hospital (BMH) will join hospitals and healthcare organizations across the country in celebrating National Doctors Day on Friday, March 30. Observed annually, Doctors Day provides an opportunity to let healthcare providers know they are appreciated. The first Doctors’ Day observance was March 30, 1933, in Winder, Georgia. Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond, decided to set aside a day to honor doctors. This first observance included mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors.