New England News

Vermont's treasurer says the state will soon launch a tax-free savings program for residents with disabilities.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Bills aimed at preventing what Vermont lawmakers and Republican Governor Phil Scott have called unconstitutional overreach on immigration issues by the Trump administration are moving quickly through the state Legislature.

WAMC

  No developer has stepped forward yet with an offer to purchase and restore one of the most unique buildings in western Massachusetts. But late today, the deadline to put in a bid was extended.

  A western Massachusetts city has undertaken several initiatives to revitalize its downtown, from improving public safety to attracting new housing.

Picture of solar panels
wikipedia commons

Environmental activists launched a campaign Monday to win passage of a bill in Massachusetts that would commit the state to 100 percent renewable energy over the next few decades.

Downtown Historic District, Rutland, Vermont
Sfoskett/Wikimedia Commons

The new secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is hosting forums around the state in February and March to hear about Vermonters' experiences interacting with the agency.

Advocates plan to launch a campaign Monday for 100 percent renewable energy in Massachusetts.

Hampshire College

  Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash, who sparked national controversy and local protest last year over his decision to suspend flying the American flag, will retire in 2018.

wikipedia

Hoping to keep momentum going from the Women’s March on Washington last month, a rally is scheduled tomorrow in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Another event Saturday in western Massachusetts will raise money for an abortion rights fund.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott and state legislative leaders have introduced legislation that would clarify the duties of law enforcement in carrying out federal immigration tasks — and require that the governor first approve any local or state enforcement of federal immigration laws.

        Springfield, Massachusetts has been selected to participate in a federal conservation program for migratory birds. 

Since President Trump was inaugurated and Republicans obtained control of Congress, there has been heightened concern over future environmental policies.  In response, advocacy groups are intensifying their grassroots organizing. Wednesday night, a coalition of Vermont groups held a webinar with Senator Bernie Sanders to discuss how to move forward on environmental issues without the support of the federal government.

Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott discussed a number of issues while meeting with reporters at his ceremonial office in the Statehouse Wednesday.

Nurses at Berkshire Medical Center rally at the Pittsfield, MA hospital in December 2014.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

Update at 1:15 Thursday: The Massachusetts Nurses Association has canceled Thursday's rally due to the winter storm in Pittsfield.

Despite the winter storm, nurses at Berkshire Medical Center are planning a rally in Pittsfield today over what they say are unsafe staffing levels at the hospital. WAMC spoke with Amber VanBramer, a registered nurse at BMC who is a member of the bargaining committee for the Massachusetts Nurses Association at the hospital. The union represents all of the roughly 800 registered nurses at Berkshire Medical Center.

Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott was joined by his Human Services Secretary and several health care providers today to unveil a pilot Medicaid program intended to change the current fee-for-service system.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
CT.gov

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy's new budget plan calls for $1.5 billion in state employee givebacks over two years and shifts about $400 million in teacher pension costs to cities and towns from the state. The Democrat announced his two-year, $40.6 billion spending plan today before a joint session of the General Assembly in Hartford. 

     Springfield, Massachusetts has been selected to participate in a federal conservation program for migratory birds. 

A western Massachusetts city is offering loans and grants to businesses to create jobs downtown.

Governor's press office

      While other states have seen enrollments in health insurance plans through online marketplaces drop, Massachusetts reported a record number of people obtaining coverage.

        A new study finds financial and health problems are the most common negative impacts of gambling.

An Iranian religion professor at Vermont's Middlebury College who has been doing research in his native country since last summer has returned home to Vermont after President Donald Trump's executive order created uncertainty about his travel plans.

Open Clip Art/Public Domain

Refugees could start arriving in Vermont in the next few weeks after a U.S. judge's temporary suspension of President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting those from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
CT.gov

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says his new budget proposal would significantly change the state's formula for funding local education to allow more aid to get to the neediest communities.

Massachusetts Health Connector

   A record number of people have signed up for health insurance through the Massachusetts Health Connector during the open enrollment period.

Facebook: Aetna

Connecticut and Hartford leaders say they're concerned healthcare insurance giant Aetna might downsize or relocate its corporate headquarters from Hartford to Boston.

crews work to repair a hole in a street
WAMC

A recent report puts a price tag on repairs required to local water systems in Massachusetts.  It also adds to a national political issue because President Donald Trump has promised to make a massive investment in infrastructure. 

Pipeline opponents rallied outside Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield, Massachusetts for a hearing on the land access in April 2016.
Jim Levulis / WAMC

On Monday representatives of the state of Massachusetts and Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company will meet in Berkshire Superior Court to discuss a proposed settlement for the Connecticut Expansion Project

Connecticut State Police are warning against drunken driving and betting in bars this Super Bowl Sunday.

wikipedia.org

Protesters in Connecticut temporarily shut down a highway, delaying an ambulance that was on the road and forcing workers to perform an emergency medical procedure on a patient.

Vermont's United States attorney is resigning. Eric Miller, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, announced Friday that he would resign effective Feb. 10.

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