Incoming Guard Leader Says Budget Uncertainty Is Greatest Threat

By Kirk Carapezza It’s down to just hours, now, until the sequestration – a massive reduction in federal spending – kicks in. The automatic cuts will have an effect on the daily lives of Vermonters, including civilian defense employees in the Vermont National Guard. Gov. Peter Shumlin was at Camp Johnson in Colchester Thursday morning [...]

Finance Officials Warn Against Overreacting to Sequestration

By Kirk Carapezza Despite widespread estimates about the potential effects that across-the-board federal spending cuts could have on the states, Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office said Wednesday it doesn’t know the precise impact of sequestration. Still, Commissioner of Finance and Management Jim Reardon said the risks to state operations are real. “We are a state that [...]

Shumlin Says Emergency Fuel Supply Has Run Dry

By Kirk Carapezza Gov. Peter Shumlin announced on Wednesday that Vermont’s emergency fuel assistance for low-income Vermonters will run out of funds by the end of the week. His administration is asking the Legislature to come up with additional funding – something that he admits is hard to find in a tight budget year. As [...]

Some Upper Valley Residents Asked to Help Test Emergency Warning Systems

Two Upper Valley communities are testing several emergency notification systems this week. On Wednesday, February 27, the town of Hartford is trying out a system called CodeRED. Emergency officials will make phone calls throughout the afternoon. The aim is to test the accuracy of the data base and to encourage people to spread the word [...]

Sequestration Looms, Wind Bill Gets A Makeover

VPR Staff House Speaker Shap Smith said Tuesday the possibility of new budget cuts from Washington could cause enormous problems with Vermont’s budget for next year. Smith said a prolonged sequestration of funds will also jeopardize a number of the Governor’s new spending plans for 2014. “The budget that we’ve got in front of us [...]

Senate Committee Turns to Childcare Unionization

By Kirk Carapezza On Wednesday, a key Senate committee will consider whether to extend collective bargaining rights to childcare providers. The Senate Economic Development Committee will take testimony on a bill that would allow workers to form a union. Supporters say the measure would improve the quality of early education in Vermont, but self-employed providers [...]

As Sequester Looms, Vermont Guard Grows Accustomed to Preparing for Cuts

By Kirk Carapezza States are bracing for pending federal budget reductions set to take hold in just four days unless Congress and the White House strike a deal to avert what lawmakers in Washington are calling sequestration. In Vermont, the White House says education and the military could see some of the biggest reductions if [...]

A Look Ahead at the Legislature This Week

VPR Staff State lawmakers this week will take up a bill that would suspend utility-scale wind projects in Vermont for up to three years. The legislation also requires that towns approve the towers and turbines planned on Vermont ridgelines. This bill proposes to prohibit most commercial construction, including electric generation facilities, in state parks and [...]

Warning Watch Part IV: Town Meeting Day 2013

Town Meeting Day is nearly upon us! VPR has been searching the warnings from towns around Vermont to find important, interesting, and sometimes quirky local issues being discussed at town meetings around the state. Find them on Twitter using #PublicPost from Amy Kolb Noyes on Twitter. And tweet any interesting items coming up at your [...]

Analysis: Establishing The Health Care Exchange

By Hamilton Davis The Green Mountain Care Board has established budget targets for Vermont’s 14 hospitals that will add as much as $85 million to the $2.1 billion that is budgeted for the current fiscal year. The actual amount of new money will depend on a series of board decisions on individual hospital budgets before [...]