New England News

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont's new Republican governor is calling on lawmakers to restructure the way the state pays for education.

WAMC

   Massachusetts lawmakers are planning to vote for a large pay increase for themselves, other top elected state officials and judges.  A top legislative leader, addressing a business group in Springfield this morning, strongly defended the pay raises as long overdue.

American flag with cash
Steve Johnson/Flickr

Vermont's Secretary of State and Attorney General are creating a Committee on Campaign Finance Education, Compliance and Reform to address campaign finance issues and solutions.

Some New Hampshire lawmakers are proposing that the state shift away from the Eastern Time Zone and join Nova Scotia and Puerto Rico in the Atlantic Time Zone.

Norm McAllister
Vermont Legislature

A lawyer for a former Vermont legislator has requested that he withdraw a plea deal with prosecutors before going to trial on charges he tried to extract sexual favors in exchange for rent.

U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

   A skilled workforce is needed in Massachusetts to keep the innovation economy humming, and state officials have decided the solution starts in high school. 

The Northern Berkshire Community Coalition named a new executive director at the end of 2016. Amber Besaw takes over for Adam Hinds, who is now representing the region in the Massachusetts State Senate.

   Adults in Massachusetts can legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use, and even grow up to a dozen plants at home.  But, it may be a while before people can go to a store in their neighborhood to purchase pot products.

Police are searching for a suspect in a fatal shooting in Montpelier.

www.wtyefm.com

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of 1 percent last month to 3.1 percent.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

Economists for Vermont's governor and Legislature say businesses are expanding, but they're faced with increasing expenditures, resulting in less corporate tax revenue for the state.

UVM students rally for the environment and social justice
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Two hours before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, students at the University of Vermont held a rally to call for continued environmental protection and progressive social justice policies.

This is a picture of Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy
http://www.ct.gov/sots/site/default.asp

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy says President Donald Trump's inaugural speech was designed for his supporters, not the entire country.

Sonny Perdue 2007 file photo
Public Domain

President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday announced the last of his cabinet nominees.  Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue has been chosen to lead the Agriculture Department.  Farm advocates in our region say it’s a good choice and are hopeful he will be a strong advocate on key agricultural issues.

A skilled workforce is needed in Massachusetts to keep the innovation economy humming, and state officials have decided the solution starts in high school.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

This year, as Vermonters see a new governor and lieutenant governor begin their terms, new presiding officers are also overseeing the legislature.  In the Democratically controlled House, Mitzi Johnson became the third female speaker to lead that chamber.  The Senate is being led by a Democrat/Progressive from Burlington.  Tim Ashe has been a member since 2009, sitting on key committees including Finance and Judiciary. Now in charge of the Senate agenda, he says the legislators’ key challenge comes from outside the Statehouse.

An exterior view of the Massachusetts State House in Boston
wikipedia.org

Massachusetts lawmakers are holding a hearing Thursday on the often controversial topic of their own pay. 

         Criminal justice reforms are expected to be debated in the Massachusetts legislature during the two-year session that began this month.  Already, one bill has been filed at the request of a mayor who says rules about bail need to change to keep violent criminals off the streets.

This is a picture of Adam Hinds
Jim Levulis / WAMC

State Senator Adam Hinds began his two-year term representing western Massachusetts earlier this month. He has taken over for fellow Democrat Ben Downing, who retired after a decade in office. 

 Police chiefs meet with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to discuss work on reducing the use of force in American policing.
Chief Brandon del Pozo

Burlington, Vermont Police Chief Brandon del Pozo was in Wisconsin on Monday. He and five other police chiefs from across the U.S. met with House Speaker Paul Ryan to discuss new training guidelines issued by the Police Executive Research Forum that are aimed at reducing the use of force.   Chief del Pozo explains that the Burlington department became involved after a fatal encounter in the city last year.

wikipedia commons

       Massachusetts Health Quality Partners today reported the results of its latest statewide patient experience survey.

A former top federal prosecutor for Vermont who is the state's new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety says he expects the state's opiate epidemic will be a top priority of his office.

Lake Champlain (file photo)
WAMC Photo by Pat Bradley

Vermont Governor Phil Scott says the state remains committed to seeing Lake Champlain cleaned up, even though the total estimated price tag over the next 20 years could exceed $1 billion.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has issued three executive orders to restructure parts of state government.  The new Republican governor says the new agencies are designed to improve administrative functions, expand the economy and make the state more affordable.

WAMC

For the first time in five years, Massachusetts is offering financial help to build new public libraries.  Demand for the money is expected to be high.

Hampden County Sheriff Dept

   A western Massachusetts jail was put on lockdown and searched from top to bottom Tuesday at the direction of the new Hampden County Sheriff. 

Congressman John Lewis
https://johnlewis.house.gov/

The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams announced today that Congressman John Lewis will be the keynote speaker for the school’s commencement in May. 

smokestacks
Dori/Wikimedia Commons

A new report argues the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has positively impacted the health of residents across the Northeast.

Lake Champlain (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont's state treasurer says property owners could be on the hook for $25 million a year for a water cleanup initiative.

Vermont snowplow plowing country road in winter in Woodstock
Mark Goebel/Flickr

Vermont has a new way to help drivers in winter that tell them where snow plows have been.

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