New England News

New England News
5:58 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Forclosure Prevention Bill Working Its Way Through Mass. Legislature

On Wednesday, the state House of Representatives passed a modified version of the bill that will now head to the senate. The bill would help prevent foreclosures by requiring banks to be more flexible with borrowers in their repayment plans.

The bill would require lenders to analyze loans under new standards and offer modifications that can financially benefit the borrower and bank to prevent forclosure.

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New England News
5:49 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Massachusetts Lawmakers Continue to Debate EBT Reforms

In December, Governor Deval Patrick signed legislation amending a commission that would look at EBT fraud in Massachusetts. The commission was created after it was found that the state public assistance cards were being used to pay for tattoos, alcohol, tobacco, and other things not intended in the program. After a report was filed on April first by the Commission, the House of Representatives began working on their own EBT reform plan, which was included in their FY 2013 budget proposal.

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WAMC News, North Country News
5:16 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Wind Turbine Project Causing Border Animosity

A Quebec town is fighting plans to erect wind turbines close to the border in Vermont.

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WAMC News, North Country News
5:03 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

Health Exchange Bill Signed

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin
Vermont Governor's Office

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has signed into law the state’s next step in a multi-year effort to revamp Vermont's health care system and make it a single payer system similar to Canada's.

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New England News
7:20 am
Thu May 17, 2012

Senate Panel Hikes Local Aid in MA Budget

The Massachusetts budget proposed by the Senate Ways and Means Committee is winning praise from municipal officials. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

Senate leaders say the spending plan for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 would boost local aid by $275 million over current year levels and provide full funding for unrestricted local aid. An earlier budget proposal by Governor Deval Patrick had made $65 million of unrestricted aid contingent on state revenues reaching certain benchmarks in the current year.

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New England News
5:54 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Mass DEP Recommends Shut Down of Wind Turbine

The study released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection shows that the Wind One industrial turbine in the Cape Cod town of Falmouth produces noise louder than the state allows.

The report marks the first time the state has recommended a shut-off of a wind turbine.

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WAMC News, North Country News
5:19 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Vermont Bans Hydrofracking

Courtesy Vermont Public Interest Research Group

Shortly after noon on Wednesday, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the nation's first statewide ban on the natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed H.464 to ban the drilling method. Lawmakers had considered a moratorium, but after testimony and debate, moved a bill forward to ban the practice.  Governor Shumlin says it’s a critical move to protecting a critical resource.

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New England News
3:30 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Officials Seek Summer Jobs For Young People

Mayor Alex Morse of Holyoke, MA and young people at Hampden Co. REB 2012 Youth Summer Jobs Campaign kickoff
WAMC

Hoping to reverse what has been called a lost decade of employment for
young people, officials in western Massachusetts have launched a youth
summer jobs campaign.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill
reports.

        Saying that government funded youth summer jobs programs will
not come close to meeting the demand, workforce development specialists,
and the mayors of the region's two largest cities appealed to the
private sector to offer work to teenagers this summer.

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New England News
8:21 am
Wed May 16, 2012

VT State Revenues Above Target, Surplus Possible

Vermont's top fiscal officer says the state's General Fund took in $10.6 million more than expected last month, making it possible for the state to end the fiscal year with a surplus.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports… 

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said general fund revenues were 6.3 percent ahead of expectations.

So far this fiscal year, general fund revenues are four-tenths of one percent ahead of expectations.

Spaulding says the results were largely because of strong corporate income tax filings.

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New England News
6:25 pm
Tue May 15, 2012

Massachusetts Auto Insurance Rates Rise

Auto insurance rates in Massachusetts are climbing higher. Drivers are starting to see their premiums go up four years after rates dropped when the state partially de-regulated the auto insurance business.  WAMC's Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

        Many of the largest auto insurance companies doing business in Massachusetts have raised rates in each of the last two years.  The insurers are faced with rising costs for claims from car crashes, thefts and injuries, according to James Harrington, of the Massachusetts Insurance Federation.

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