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Welcome to iBrattleboro!
It's a local news source by and for the people of Brattleboro, Vermont, published continually. You can get involved in this experiment in citizen journalism by submitting meeting results, news, events, stories, reviews, how-to's, recipes, places to go, things to do, or anything else important to Brattleboro. Or, just drop by to see what others have contributed.

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State News


State News section

Vermont Law: Handheld Devices While Driving

State transportation records show 379 crashes resulting from electronic distracted driving from 2009 through 2013. There was one fatality.

Vermont became the 13th state to bar all drivers from handheld cell phone use.

Vermont Law S.314 Starts October 1, 2014

>All uses of handheld devices banned while driving (cellphones, MP3 players, iPods, etc.)

>Drivers under 18 banned from using “all handheld and hands-free devices” while driving

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"All About Transportation" Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Notes - June 27, 2014

Brattleboro Citizens’ Breakfast  

All About Transportation
Representative Mollie S. Burke
mburke@leg.state.vt.us

BCTV Video Link

Overview

Transportation issues from recent sessions of the General Assembly, along with general transportation issues, current and future, related to safety, funding, and emissions as they impact local, state, and federal governments.

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Sanders and Vermont Religious Leaders Address Wealth and Income Inequality

BURLINGTON, Vt., June 20 – Vermont religious leaders joined U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today to address the moral implications of extreme wealth and income inequality.

Bishop Thomas Ely, the Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak, Monsignor Roland Rivard and Rabbi Joshua Chasan joined Sanders to emphasize that increasing wealth and income inequality in the United States is one of the great moral issues of our time and is undermining the fabric of our nation.

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Vermont Economic Development Authority Public Meeting for Revolving Loan Fund

On Thursday, July 10, 2014, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) will hold a public hearing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., in the Select Board Meeting Room, Brattleboro Municipal Center, 230 Main Street, Brattleboro.

The purpose of the public meeting is to take public comment on utilizing a portion of the $10 million made available through the MOU between the State of Vermont and Entergy Vermont Yankee to establish a Windham County Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) administered by VEDA. The RLF would be part of the Windham County Economic Development Program under development by ACCD to implement the MOU.

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Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast ~ All about Transportation ~ Save the Date & RSVP - June 27th

Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast Invitation

All about Transportation in VT

The "Brattleboro Citizens' Breakfast" will take place on Friday, June 27,  2014 at the Gibson Aiken Center, downstairs, hosted by Senior Meals. Doors open at 7:30am.

 

State Representative Mollie Burke (Brattleboro District 2), member of the Vermont House Transportation Committee will speak on  transportation issues from recent sessions of the General Assembly, along with general transportation issues, current and future, related to safety, funding, and emissions as they impact local, state, and federal governments.

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Vermont Minimum Wage To Rise To $10.50 Per Hour By 2018

MIDDLESEX – June 9, 2014 -- Surrounded by supporters at the locally owned Red Hen Bakery, Gov. Peter Shumlin today signed into law legislation phasing in an increase in the state’s minimum wage from the current $8.73 per hour to $10.50 per hour by 2018.

Gov. Shumlin and other New England Governors appeared with President Obama earlier this year in Connecticut to call for a national increase in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. However, noting Congressional inaction on that proposal, Gov. Shumlin said, “States like Vermont realize that working people can’t support their families on the current minimum wage, and we’re moving ahead to do the right thing on our own.”

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Rhonda Taylor, Mother of MacAdam Mason, Issues Statement Upon Passage of H.225 - Taser Bill

This week the Vermont House of Representatives voted unanimously to concur with the Senate proposal of Amendment of H.225 - the Taser bill.

Barring any technical problems that might pop up during vetting of the bill by his staff (which is a common disclaimer with any bill that hits his desk), it was reported by his staff that Governor Peter Shumlin intends to sign the bill into law.

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Governor Shumlin Proclaims May 10 as 'Winston Prouty Center for Child Development Day in Vermont'

Governor Peter Shumlin has issued a proclamation declaring May 10, 2014 as “Winston Prouty Center for Child Development Day in Vermont.”

The proclamation coincides with the The Prouty Center’s 25th Taste of the Town fundraiser, which will take place May 10th, from 6:30-10:30pm at the International Center on the campus of SIT Graduate Institute.

The proclamation reads:

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Governor Shumlin Appoints BDCC's Moulton As Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Secretary

GOV. SHUMLIN MAKES KEY STAFF ANNOUNCEMENTS

MONTPELIER -- April 10, 2014 -- Gov. Peter Shumlin today announced two key staff appointments integral to his efforts to strengthen Vermont’s economy by growing jobs, helping to contain rising health care costs and reform health care delivery, and ushering in a universal, publicly-financed health care system in Vermont.

Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) Secretary Lawrence Miller will become Senior Advisor to the Governor and Chief of Health Care Reform. In this capacity, Miller will be tasked with overseeing the state’s health care reform efforts and transition to Green Mountain Care. He will report directly to the Governor.

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Designated Agencies Opposing SSA Medicaid Funding Designation for Pathways Vermont

Vermont State House(cross-posted to Green Mountain Daily, here; original version posted to Vermont Watch, here)

It was recently learned that Pathways Vermont, a housing first program currently serving six different regions within the state, is pursuing Specialized Service Agency (SSA) Medicaid funding designation status as a way to replace the federal grant funds the housing first program will be losing later this year, to the tune of $600,000.

Read the Pathways Vermont SSA designation application letter, here.

It is my understanding that this SSA designation status, if granted, would permit Pathways Vermont to receive medicaid funding the program currently does not have access to and of which the Designated Agencies (DA's: i.e., Community Mental Health Centers: CMHC's) basically have enjoyed what amounts to a virtual monopoly when it comes to these type of program and service funds.

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Vermont Official Warns U.S. Senate Panel: Don't Let Transportation Funding Run Out

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 27 – Testifying at the invitation of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Vermont Agency of Transportation Deputy Secretary Sue Minter warned a Senate panel today that a looming shortfall in federal transportation funding could put people out of work in Vermont and “tip the balance of our fragile economic recovery.”

Projects slated for this construction season could be cancelled unless Congress acts soon to shore up the federal Highway Trust Fund, which is projected to be depleted by July.

“Reducing or eliminating transportation projects translates into job losses in the construction industry,” Minter told the Senate public works committee. “In a small state like ours, this can tip the balance on our fragile economic recovery.”

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State Rail Plan Meeting - Increase Passenger Train Service In Connecticut River Valley?

From the Vermont Rail Action Network - a call to discuss additional train service in the region. Is it important? They are having a meeting and would like to know what you think.

….

"Tuesday's meeting in Brattleboro is an important chance to demonstrate public support for additional trains in the Connecticut River Valley.

The meeting will be 6:30 pm, March 25 in the community room at Brattleboro Savings & Loan (221 Main Street, across the street from the library).

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First Major Test Hurdled for Paid Sick Day Legislation

The Paid Sick Day (H.208) legislation that would require all employers to permit employees to earn up to five paid sick days per year has passed it's first major hurdle.  It was voted out of its first committee appearance (Housing and Military Affairs, and don't ask me why there) by a strong 6-1 margin.  It has now moved to the House Appropriations Committee.  

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Bill to Hinder Info Gathering in Vermont

A few weeks ago, January 28th, four Vt House legislators introduced a bill to hinder information gathering in Vermont.  

There are four sponsors from four perspectives:  Rep Davis-Hatch Progressive from the NE Kingdom, Rep Zagar, Dem from Windsor, Rep Komline, Repub from Rutland and W. Stevens, Ind. from Addison.  The bill's number is H.732.  It will not have time to get through this session and will have to be re-introduced next year (the slate is wiped clean at the end of every biennium) if the sponsors or others choose.  Here is the link.

http://www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/Intro/H-732.pdf

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Vermont Legislative Pay

(originally posted to Vermont Watch, here)

Received the following information from a legislative council staff member this morning in response to an inquiry of mine from earlier this month that included questions concerning legislative pay and the like for members of the Vermont Legislature:

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