vermont

WAMC

Vermont  lawmakers are considering dropping the state's traditional maple syrup-labeling system in favor of an international one.

The Vermont Senate has passed and sent to the House a resolution that supports the Agency of Agriculture’s proposal to adopt an administrative rule to implement international maple grading standards. Vermont Maple Sugarmakers’ Board Chair Jacques Couture explains that the international grading system is brand new.

    Europe’s financial fortunes have influenced the world economy for years. In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch and WAMC’s Alan Chartock discuss Welch’s study group on Europe.

  In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch and WAMC’s Alan Chartock continue their discussion of bipartisanship in the House.

MONTPELIER, VT. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is pushing legislation to stop corporations from sheltering income in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens. The legislation also would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs and factories overseas.

Bebeto Matthews / AP

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Travel is getting back on track for trains, ferries and airlines following a snowstorm that dropped record amounts of snow on parts of northern New England.

WNYT / Paul Caiano

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Vermont State Police say two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries after several vehicles crashed on Interstate 89 in South Burlington during the snowstorm.

Police say a trooper was helping a driver who had gone off the road on Friday when another car slid off the interstate. Police say a man who stopped to help the second vehicle was struck by a third vehicle that then hit the second car head on.

  Partisanship is rampant in Washington, where a permanent campaign has taken hold. In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells Alan Chartock that he is working to forge partnerships across the aisle.

Vermont Workers Center

In a counter move to Governor Peter Shumlin’s budget address, a group of advocates have released what they call a “People’s Budget” for Vermont.

A Senate committee is taking testimony on the bill that would require judges to consider the financial costs of possible sentences before imposing them.

Supporters say the intention is to improve results and save costs.

WAMC

The administration of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin says it wants more time to firm up the financing for a single-payer health plan to be in place by 2017.

A health care law passed two years ago gave the administration until this month to develop a financing plan. But hopes were then for a federal waiver that would allow the planned Green Mountain Care program to start in 2014. That waiver hasn't been forthcoming, pushing the date back three years.

Vermont Governor's Office

One week later than originally planned, Vermont’s Governor outlined the state’s 2014 spending plan Thursday in his annual budget address

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin focused his fiscal plan on five areas that he said need bold transformation and targeted  investment.

WAMC

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont House has given final approval to a mid-fiscal-year budget adjustment that takes savings from Medicaid and uses the money to address other growing demands in human services.

The biggest new line item is more than $4.5 million for the ReachUp program, which helps people move from welfare to work. Others are $3.2 million for child development and about $2 million each for general assistance and mental health.

WAMC

    

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont lawmakers will have money in mind for the next couple of days.

On Wednesday, the House is slated to take final action on a mid-year budget adjustment bill to respond to growing needs in human services.

Also Wednesday, the Emergency Board — made up of the governor and the four legislative money committee chairs — is scheduled to hear a new revenue forecast from two consulting economists.

Vermont environmental groups are urging the Legislature to keep efforts to stem climate change at the center of its agenda.

A half dozen groups sent representatives to a Statehouse news conference on Tuesday to speak on issues ranging from the need for more money to weatherize Vermonters' homes to a ban on tar sands oil running through a pipeline that crosses northeastern Vermont.

Julian Lim/Creative Commons

More carpooling, fuel economy, hybrids and electric cars may be good for the environment, but they're bad for state and federal transportation funds, which rely on taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel.

Now some states, including Vermont, are eyeing a "vehicle miles traveled" tax for bridge and road maintenance, where you pay not based on how much fuel you burned, but how far you went.

Jim Bowen / Flickr

Republicans in the Vermont House and Senate are trying to get out in front on the issue of super-PACs, and the influence they're having on political campaigns.

Representatives Kurt Wright of Burlington, Ron Hubert of Milton and Tom Koch of Barre Town were among those speaking at a news conference Thursday where they outlined legislation they said would bring greater transparency to funding for political campaigns.

The GOP has long championed entitlement reforms.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells Alan Chartock that Medicare should not be tampered with.

Despite President Obama’s re-election, Democrats were unable to re-take the House.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells Alan Chartock that Republicans must work with the other side sooner or later.

Despite President Obama’s re-election, Democrats were unable to re-take the House.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Vermont representative Peter Welch tells Alan Chartock that Republicans must work with the other side sooner or later.

After a housing authority in Southern Vermont failed to pass an inspection by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development earlier this year, the agency must now submit a corrective plan to federal authorities to address its inadequacies. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…

The Bennington Housing Authority was initially notified by mail this month that it was designated as “substandard”, and now has until December 30th to submit a corrective plan to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Region 1.

Liz Montaquila is a spokeswoman for HUD…

Archer Mayor is the author of the highly acclaimed, Vermont-based series featuring detective Joe Gunther, which the Chicago Tribune describes as "the best police procedurals being written in America." In the new book, Paradise City, Joe Gunther investigates Vermont burglaries and a murder leads him to Northampton, Massachusetts.

Edward and Jo Hopper first discovered Vermont in 1927, making day trips from the Whitney Studio Club's summer retreat for New York artists in Charlestown, New Hampshire. In 1935 and 1936 the Hoppers again traveled to Vermont, this time from their summer home in Cape Cod, in Edward's continuing search for new places to paint.

During these quests they identified the White River and what Edward considered to be Vermont's "finest" river valley, and they returned there for longer visits in 1937 and 1938, boarding at Robert and Irene Slater's Wagon Wheels farm in South Royalton.

The state of Vermont is notifying towns still struggling financially from Tropical Storm Irene repairs that it will give out payments early while those towns await federal reimbursement for repairs.

The accelerated payments are for town highways and payment-in-lieu-of taxes, which are normally given out in October; current use payments, which are typically sent out in November; and state aid to education payments, which are normally dispersed in December.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is saying it may be quite a while before the state knows how much it will get from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for repairs from Tropical Storm Irene.

Shumlin on Wednesday is outlining plans for the state to go ahead with revamping its mental health system and renovating its state agency office complex.

The effort comes in response to flooding from Tropical Storm Irene 54 weeks ago, which forced the closure of the Vermont State Hospital and the surrounding office complex in Waterbury.

The trial for a Vermont man charged with kidnapping and killing his 12-year-old niece in 2008 is at least a year away.

A federal appeals court in New York has sent the case of Michael Jacques back to Vermont for trial.

Jacques has pleaded not guilty to the death of Brooke Bennett. Federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently turned down a defense request to reconsider its decision allowing prosecutors

WAMC

Governor Peter Shumlin says Vermont has become a national leader in how to respond to natural disasters and there's little he'd change about the state's handling of flooding after Hurricane Irene.

Shumlin tells The Associated Press that forming partnerships among state agencies, state and local governments and the private sector were keys to Vermont's success in recovering from the storm and the subsequent flooding.

Vermont state officials say the cloud of uncertainty surrounding federal funding for Vermont's recovery from Tropical Storm Irene has grown thicker with the departures of two top officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says the state has been working for months with FEMA officials over the complicated issues of how much Vermont will be reimbursed for the destruction of the Vermont State Hospital and much of the surrounding state office complex in Waterbury.

Courtesy NOAA

Meteorologists at Vermont's National Weather Service office in South Burlington have a new tool to help improve their forecasts.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy helped inaugurate Monday the upgraded, dual polarization Doppler radar serving the region.

Officials say the upgrade to the so-called dual-pol system is the most significant enhancement ever made to the nation's radar network since Doppler radar was first installed in the early 1990s.

A panel of Vermont lawmakers is giving its blessing to a plan for a privately-owned rest area and visitors' center off Interstate-89 in Randolph.

Developer Sam Sammis detailed his proposal for the visitor's center and Vermont products showcase Tuesday to the legislature's Joint Transportation Oversight Committee.

Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding says the state closed the northbound rest area in Randolph several years ago and the southbound rest is likely to be closed within the next couple of years.

Campaign finance reports by Vermont candidates were due Wednesday. While the incumbent Governor is easily outpacing his challenger, the current Attorney General is falling behind his primary challenger.

Incumbent Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin has raised nearly $840,000 so far his campaign, with about $769,000 cash in the bank.  His challenger, Republican state Senator Randy Brock reported about $585,000 in contributions so far, including $300,000 from himself, with about $234,000 cash on hand. Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis.

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