Tim and Diane Mueller, owners of Okemo Mountain Resort, will offer eleven scholarship awards for the 2003 school year to high school seniors and college students to assist them to further their education. Okemo has been offering scholarship awards to students since 1988 as a symbol of their commitment to the region’s youth and education. Criteria used to select the scholarship recipients include academic achievement, co-curricular involvement and the composition of an essay.For the 2003 school year, a total of eleven scholarship awards will be offered to high school seniors and college students. The Okemo Mountain Employee Student Scholarship Awards will be presented to four high school or college students who are employed at Okemo. The Okemo Mountain Dependent Student Scholarship Awards will be presented to four dependents of Okemo employees who are high school seniors or to a studentenrolled in a degree program. The Tom Croney Scholarship Award will be presented to a student pursuing a career in a technical field and is given in the memory of Tom Croney, an Okemo employee who set an example through his dedication to Okemo and its guests. The Okemo Creative Endeavors Scholarship was created by the Okemo Fine Arts Council to assist employeesand their dependents (ages 13 and up) in furthering their interest in the arts. Awardees may attend programs and seminars related to art, drama, music and creative writing. The John F. Mueller Scholarship Award is new for 2003 and was formed by the staff at Okemo in memory of Dr. John F. Mueller. This award is available to a staff member who is pursuing a career in medicine.All scholarship awards are determined prior to graduation and past recipients may re-apply each year. Okemo Scholarship application formscan be picked up inside the Main Office at Okemo, or interested students can either call or email Okemo’s Human Resource Office at email@example.com(link sends e-mail)or (802) 228-1963 for more information. Completed scholarship applications must be returned to the Okemo Human Resource Office by May 10, 2002.
CVPS: Use caution when cutting woodMore than 50 outages in 2008 blamed on felled treesRUTLAND, VT – With fuel prices up, many Vermonters are turning to wood heat, and that’s causing a significant number of power outages due to careless tree cutting near power lines.Central Vermont Public Service, Vermont’s largest power company, today urged Vermonters to use caution when cutting trees anywhere near power lines.”From professional loggers to people cutting wood for the first time, we’re seeing a tremendous number of accidents involving tree-cutting and power lines,” CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. “We urge all Vermonters to use the utmost in caution to prevent power outages, injuries and even death.”More than 50 power outages have occurred this year due to trees accidentally felled onto CVPS power lines. The outages have affected thousands of customers and cost thousands of dollars to repair. More importantly, Costello said a simple accident can have devastating consequences.”While an outage can be repaired, these accidents can lead to severe injuries that can have lifelong impacts, and fatal accidents affect entire families,” Costello said. “We want to reduce the number of these outages, of course, but we’re even more concerned about preventing injuries or deaths that could be avoided.”In one of the most recent incidents, a homeowner in CVPS’s St. Albans District accidentally dropped a tree onto a power line. “The homeowner and several children ignored the fact that they were in grave danger, and persisted in cutting the tree and being in close proximity to the tree, while it was in direct contact with the utility line,” Costello said.”Only by sheer luck was a tragedy avoided,” Costello said. “The homeowner and the children were in grave danger and didn’t even realize it.”CVPS, which plans a special bill insert on the issue in January, issued a series of tips to keep people safe:* Always look carefully for nearby utility lines before cutting any tree. Sometimes, utility lines can be hidden by trees and other vegetation, such as vines. Call CVPS for assistance before cutting down any tree that is in close proximity to a utility line, or if the tree could fall into a utility line.* Always assume all overhead power lines or damaged lines are energized and potentially dangerous, including the service cables that run from utility poles to buildings.* Never climb, touch or attempt to fell a tree that is in contact with a power line.* If a tree falls into a power line, stop working immediately! Do not attempt to remove the saw or any equipment. Do not attempt to clear the tree or any portion of the tree from the downed line. Do not touch the tree or anything in contact with the tree or overhead cables. Shuffle or hop away from the location; always keep both feet in contact with the ground at the same time. Stay clear and call us immediately at 800-649-2877. Never assume that someone else has made to call. Inform us of the exact location of the event.* Keep others at least 50 feet away from the tree and cables until our crew arrives. This includes pets and livestock.
With new border crossing requirements coming on June 1, state officials are urging businesses to get enhanced identification cards for employees who regularly travel to Canada. Starting June 1, the federal Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) will require WHTI-approved documents for entry to the United States. That means that most U.S. citizens entering the United States by sea or land will need a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document like a Vermont Enhanced Drivers License (EDL). According to Canadian government statistics for 2007, 17,500 Vermont jobs are supported by Canada–U.S. trade and Canadians made more than 765,900 visits to Vermont that year, spending $148 million here, while Vermont residents made 148,200 visits to Canada, spending $56 million.“In business, time is money,” said Kevin Dorn, Vermont Secretary of Commerce and Community Development. “An Enhanced Drivers License or Enhanced Non-Driver ID can cut down on delays in crossing the border with Canada.”“Our largest trading partner, as well as one of the most popular destinations for Vermont tourists, is Canada, specifically Quebec,” Dorn said. “An EDL makes travel to Canada much easier whether for business or pleasure.”Only Vermont residents who are also U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for an Enhanced Drivers License or ID card, and at this time they are only available at the Montpelier Department of Motor Vehicles office.An EDL/ID costs $25 in addition to the standard fees for licenses or non-driver IDs, and license fees vary by class, duration, and endorsement. A standard 4-year operator license is $40, so an Enhanced 4-year operator license would be $65.DMV staff will determine eligibility for an EDL/ID by verifying the information on the source documents submitted and conducting investigative applicant interviews to determine identity and citizenship.Obtaining an Enhanced Drivers License or ID will require, at a minimum, presentation and verification of a photo identity document; documentation showing the applicant’s date of birth; proof of the person’s social security number; and documentation showing the applicant’s name and address of principle residence.Officials from the DMV advised Vermonters to consult the department’s website and make sure they have the documentation needed.“We have had instances of people being turned away because they didn’t have the required paperwork,” said DMV Commissioner Bonnie Rutledge. “Since the process of verifying the documentation can take up to 20 minutes, waits at the DMV are a little longer and we don’t want people to spend that time waiting only to find out they don’t have proper identity documents.”
Rep. Peter Welch announced today that he has joined the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus, at the request of the Vermont Chamber Hospitality Council, to help promote the importance of the travel and tourism industry as a strong contributor to the overall economy. Vermont s tourism sector is a critical component of our state s economy and an essential source of jobs, said Rep. Welch, a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. With its bipartisan focus on expanding economic opportunities in the industry, the Congressional Travel and Tourism Caucus will be a valuable ally for Vermont businesses and employees in the tourism sector.The latest available data shows that in 2007, visitors made an estimated 14.3 million person trips to Vermont for leisure, business or personal travel and direct spending by visitors for goods and services totaled $1.615 billion. In addition, visitor spending entirely supports an estimated 37,490 jobs for Vermonters (approximately 12% of all jobs in our state). We are extremely pleased that Congressman Welch will represent Vermont on the Travel and Tourism Caucus, said Vicky Tebbetts, Senior Vice President of the Vermont Chamber of Commerce and Vice President of the Vermont Chamber Hospitality Council. This is an important step in promoting Vermont s vibrant travel and tourism industry and in helping others to realize the benefits that tourism brings to the overall economy.The mission of the Congressional Travel & Tourism Caucus is to formulate national policy that promotes domestic and international travel for leisure, business, student, and medical. Rep. Welch is one of nearly 100 members on the Caucus which has worked on the Travel Promotion Acts of 2007 and 2009, promoting the brand of America to the rest of the traveling world and increasing international travelers to the United States. Other accomplishments of the Caucus include hosting meetings with top US travel and tourism leaders, and supporting the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative deadline extension, as well as offering a resolution in support of National Tourism Week.The US travel industry represents more than 16 million American workers and generates $1.8 trillion a year in economic activity. The economic benefit of travel and tourism extends to all 50 states and every congressional district, contributing more than $115 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal economies. Source: Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Four-term Vermont Governor James Douglas said today at a morning press conference that he will not seek re-election in 2010. He added that he does not intend to run for another political office. The unexpected news caught the state by surprise. The governor did not take questions, but said he would not be an “absentee landlord” for the duration of his term. The man known for his gentlemanly ways was famous for his political success as a Republican in what became a Democratic state and for his fabulous gift for remembering people’s names. After a tight race against then Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine in 2002, he has breezed to victory in every subsequent election, as he had for most of his political career. A Massachusetts native, he was first elected to the state Legislature in 1972 right out of Middlebury College. He has had long tenures as both Secretary of State and Treasurer, meeting scant opposition. The only major stumble in his political career was a loss to Patrick Leahy for US Senate in 1992.”But as any farmer knows, after many years working sun up to sun down, seven days a week there comes a time to turn over the reins to fresh arms. For me, that time is approaching. After 36 years as a public servant, 28 of those years in statewide office, with what will be eight years as Governor and through 15 statewide elections I will have held center stage long enough for any leader. I will not seek another term as Governor of Vermont.”In response to the news, Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie said: I honor Governor Douglas today, and thank him for three decades of outstanding service to the people of Vermont. I would also like to thank his wife, Dorothy, and his entire family for living with the high demands that come with public service.As far as the remaining 16 months of the governor’s term, Dubie said, The unprecedented economic challenges that we now face as a state require that we all focus on working together, administration and legislature, in good faith, for the future of our state and its people. It s what the people of Vermont deserve and expect from us.On the subject of his own political plans, Dubie clearly left the door open for a run for governor himself, saying, The governor s announcement today changes the political landscape in Vermont. As Vermonters reflect on this new landscape, I will contemplate my options. Right now, I will focus on doing my job. I will discuss my plans when the time is right.Several Democrats have lined up as potential successors, including Racine, now in the state Senate and Secretary of State Deb Markowitz. Other than Dubie, there would not be a clear Republican candidate at this point.Markowitz said, “I want to congratulate and applaud Jim Douglas for his years of service to the state. Douglas is a Vermonter who has devoted his life to public service. Vermonters, regardless of political party, should honor him for his commitment to serving the state for all of these years. I wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”Vermont Chamber of Commerce President Betsy Bishop, who served in the Douglas Administration since the beginning, most recently as commissioner of Economic Development Department, said, “This certainly changes the political landscape in Vermont. The Vermont Chamber will continue to work with Governor Douglas on key business issues, like lower energy cost, unemployment insurance trust fund and health care.”Governor Douglas has been a wonderful partner and friend of QuÃ©bec, said QuÃ©bec Premier Jean Charest. Under his leadership, Charest said, relations between QuÃ©bec and Vermont have thrived as never before. Meetings have been held every year at the highest levels.”Over his four terms, the Governor has not only contributed enormously to his state, but has also infused QuÃ©bec Vermont relations with a unique focus and energy. We have worked together as a team for many years on many important international issues. He has been not only a great friend of QuÃ©bec, but also a personal friend, and I am sorry to hear today of his pending departure,” said the Premier.Cooperation between QuÃ©bec and Vermont has taken many forms, including joint efforts to preserve water quality in Lake Champlain, Missisquoi Bay, and Lake MemphrÃ©magog, initiatives in green and renewable energy, and implementation of the Driver s License Plus. Recently the Premier and governor both spoke out in favor of heighted economic trade free from protectionism. Governor Douglas’ Statement. August 27, 2009. 11 am.”I want to thank all of you for coming this morning.I especially want to thank the members of my Administration for being here, as well as my staff.Since January 1973, after I was first elected to the Vermont House, I ve been making the trip over the Appalachian Gap from my home in Middlebury to serve the people in Montpelier.I ve traversed that pass at all hours, in all seasons, through rain, snow and sun. On a clear day, I can look west over the Champlain basin and east toward the Connecticut River valley, out across the breadth of this place that is like no other. And each time I reach the top, I am reminded of the sturdy shoulders of our people as strong and as solid as the hills and my hope for Vermont is renewed.Through my years in public service, I have had the great opportunity to share with my fellow Vermonters their proud achievements and the joys of daily life in Vermont: the opening of a new business in St. Johnsbury, pancakes with little leaguers in Starksboro, celebrating our traditions with farmers and sugarmakers at Dairy Days and the Maple Festival, waving the green flag at Thunder Road, and helping to welcome home a local hero, Captain Richard Phillips.The rewards of this job are many, like joining hands in service to help improve the lives of our friends and neighbors: delivering meals to homebound seniors in Orange County, celebrating National Night Out in South Burlington, marching to Prevent Child Abuse in Montpelier, splitting wood to heat needy homes in Springfield, or helping to load nearly 70 18-wheelers with donated goods bound for the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.And it s an honor to be with Vermonters during their times of trial and hardship: touring the devastations from floods, storms and fires, meeting with employees after a plant closure, or holding the hand of a Gold Star Mother or Wife.These occasions have given me the opportunity to speak with Vermonters, to hear their fears and troubles, their hopes and ideas. I ve brought them back with me to Montpelier where government has responded.We ve charted a course for our state that will bring good job opportunities, more affordable homes, safer communities and clean air and water.I ve made health care reform a priority reaching across party lines to get the job done because it continues to be a burden on the pocketbooks of hard-working Vermonters. We implemented the Blueprint for Health to help people lead healthier lives and reduce health care costs. Because of our first-of-its-kind Global Commitment waiver, we are a leader in forward-thinking, innovative health system reform. And Catamount Health is bringing health care within reach of more Vermonters.As Chairman of the National Governors Association I m taking our successes to Washington to demonstrate how real reform can be achieved.I ve pushed to make higher education more affordable through Promise Scholarships and the Next Generation Initiative so young people can go to school here, lead the next wave of innovation in our state and create new economic opportunities.A steady and reliable infrastructure is essential if we are going to compete in a changing economy. The e-State initiative will ensure that all Vermonters have access to broadband and cell service. And our efforts to increase and target investments in our roads, rails, bridges and culverts have been critical.The actions we ve taken to prevent and treat drug abuse; combat sexual violence; and support law enforcement, fire fighters, first responders and other public safety professionals, are making our communities safer.I am proud to carry on Vermont s long-held commitment to our environment. We ve taken bold steps to clean up Lake Champlain and other impaired waterways. We ve fought to keep our air clean, even if it meant fighting Washington and the automobile industry on emissions standards. We were a leader in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, because passing along a healthy environment to the next generation requires reaching outside our borders and working with our neighbors in the region and, indeed, around the world.And I ve fought to hold the line on taxes and spending, so that we can sustain the necessary functions of government for future generations and encourage new economic opportunities. Fiscal responsibility is at the core of the Vermont ethic as we face budget challenges resulting from the global recession, Vermonters deserve to see their money spent wisely and their government managed efficiently.There is no doubt that over the past seven years we have accomplished much. We ve seen this state through some tough times in our nation s history and I will continue to work day and night so that we emerge stronger than before.I am so proud of what we have accomplished. And yet there will always be more to do.The work of democracy is an abiding, beautiful struggle just as it should be. This land, our freedom, our liberty was not easily won and so it is worth the sacrifice we must give to maintain it. It rightly demands our hard work, perpetual motion, and an endless flow of human energy and high ideals the very lifeblood of the Vermont soul. All across our state from armories to local food pantries, from town halls to under this golden dome Vermonters give deeply and selflessly, each singular act of service renewing the promise of Vermont.It has been the great privilege of my life to serve the people of this state that I love so well. I have been profoundly humbled by their faith and support in me.But as any farmer knows, after many years working sun up to sun down, seven days a week there comes a time to turn over the reins to fresh arms. For me, that time is approaching. After 36 years as a public servant, 28 of those years in statewide office, with what will be eight years as Governor and through 15 statewide elections I will have held center stage long enough for any leader. I will not seek another term as Governor of Vermont.My service to this state will not end with the governorship. Whether I m in the corner office or my home office, I will always strive to do what I can to make better this great state.But I am also ready to write a new chapter in my life. When I first took my seat as the Representative from Middlebury in 1973, I was a young man right out of college. With some very good fortune, I met and married Dorothy, soon we were raising two extraordinary boys, and now one of my sons has a son of his own our first grandchild: Timothy James Douglas. A new generation has a way of putting things into perspective.I know there will be some speculation as to what is next, so I want to lay a few questions to rest immediately. I am not running for President. Dorothy has a divorce lawyer on speed dial if I ever utter that crazy idea.I m not running for the US Senate, the US House or any other statewide office in 2010.However, for the next 16 months, I am running state government.Those who presume there will be an absentee landlord in the corner office will be mistaken. I will focus as intensely as I always do on the needs of Vermonters. And I will continue to fight everyday to put this state on firm footing. Now is not the time to rest on our laurels.I will continue the good work that my Administration has done to advance an Agenda of Affordability an agenda centered on growing good-paying jobs while protecting our cherished natural resources.This is a historic time for our state. Vermont has been hit hard by the global recession. Businesses, families and even state government have felt the impact of a shrinking economy.That is why we must act responsibly to rein in state spending to ensure that Vermonters can continue to fund the programs and services we are all so proud to support especially those for the frail and neediest. In order to do that, we must build and pass budgets that are sustainable for the long term.I will continue to fight for working Vermonters and small business owners who struggle to make ends meet by resisting efforts to raise taxes to grow government and increase spending.As I always have but now let there be no doubt I will fight to do what is best for Vermont and devote my full energy to guiding this great state toward a more prosperous future.At another hour, in another place, there will be plenty of time for remembrances and time to look back. Now it is time to look ahead to the next legislative session and budget cycle, because, as I ve said before, the choices we make today as our state struggles under the weight of this recession will have a lasting and real impact on how quickly we recover.There will also be a time and a place for the long list of thank yous, but for today, there are just a few. My thanks to Dorothy for her love, devotion, and unconditional support over the years.I want to thank my Administration for your dedication to serving the public and for making government more responsive.I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Dubie for his friendship, support and leadership.And to the people of Vermont, thank you for your continued confidence. I especially want to thank of you have who have offered ideas, concerns, frustrations and encouragement to me in my travels over the years. You have given state government a truly people-driven direction and focus. Thank you for the tremendous privilege of allowing me to serve.And with that, I d like to ask my team to get back to work! We ve got a lot to do.”
Former governor Madeleine Kunin, currently a James Marsh Professor-at-Large at the University of Vermont, has been selected as one of three recipients of the 2009 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal award given annually to individuals and organizations who live the values espoused by the former first lady in her public life including human rights, social justice, and racial and gender equality.Gov. Kunin, former ambassador to Switzerland and the first woman in U.S. history to be re-elected governor three times, is being recognized for her “inspiring and energetic leadership and commitment to the principles that Mrs. Roosevelt championed for women, children and community,” according to Dana vanderHeyden, co-chair of the Medals Ceremony and ERVK board member. Gov. Kunin was cited for her efforts to improve the quality of education by creating early education programs for low-income children and for establishing state-wide kindergarten programs for all public schools.”Eleanor Roosevelt’s efforts to help those in need, to inspire the next generation, to encourage those in power and to be a ‘light in the darkness’ are reflected in the honorees this year,” said Marc vanderHeyden, co-chair of the Medals Ceremony, ERVK board member and former president of Saint Michael’s College. Kunin was also praised for her protecton of the environment by establishing programs to protect open spaces and farm land, which helped retain Vermont’s distinctive rural character.Past winners of the Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal award include Hillary Clinton, Bill Moyers, Norman Vincent Peale, James Earl Jones, Christopher Reeve, Susan Sarandon, Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., Marian Wright Edelman, Fred Rogers, Kate Roosevelt Whitney, Harry Belafonte, Richard Holbrooke, Cherie Blair, Dorothy L. Height, Franklin A. Thomas, Barbara Jordan and others.Gov. Kunin, who served as deputy secretary of education under President Bill Clinton, served as Vermont’s only female governor from 1985 to 1991. She was appointed the first woman to the State Supreme Court and created the family court system. Gov. Kunin is author of two books: Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008) and Living a Political Life (Vintage, 1995). The former UVM distinguished professor of political science remains active in her position as a James Marsh Professor-at-Large, giving lectures in 2009 on “Creating the Change We Believe In” and “Women, Power, and Politcis: How to Open the (Formerly) Smoke-Filled Room.”Other recipients of the 2009 Eleanor Roosevelt Val-Kill Medal include architect Jeh Johnson of East Fishkill, NY; former Chief Judge Judith Kaye of the State of New York; and The Anderson Center for Autism in Hyde Park, NY. They will be honored at the 23rd Annual ERKV Medal Ceremony at a noon luncheon on Sunday, Oct. 18 on the grounds of the the Eleanor Roosevelt Historic Site in Hyde Park. Tickets for the event cost $175. For more information, call (845) 229-5302 or (845) 876-6974 or visit the ERVK website3. Source: UVM. 10.12.2009 ###
Green Mountain Power Corp,Using an innovative approach, Green Mountain Power has been able to cut electricity costs by 16.5 percent at its Colchester facility over the past year and a half — saving energy and ultimately saving customers money. GMP worked with Shelburne-based Kilawatt Technologies on the project.According to Rebecca Towne, Administration Manager, most of the savings resulted from fine-tuning and synchronizing the building’s existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. No new capital investment was required.”When we started working with Kilawatt Technologies, we already had extremely efficient heating and cooling equipment in place. However, electricity use — especially in the Information Technology data room — continued to increase,” said Towne. “Kilawatt Technologies helped us make better use of the building automation system that regulates temperature and airflow, and identified other opportunities for significant energy savings.””Reducing power use in our IT room is crucial as we have continually increasing IT needs,” Towne said. “It’s one way we can promote Green IT concepts, and use our equipment as efficiently as possible.”Some examples of the changes implemented included using long term data trending to develop sophisticated control algorithms that take advantage of the building’s energy momentum to simply relocating thermostats in the IT room away from the hot exhaust at the back of the servers. The company also increased use of a fan that pulls in outside air to help keep the equipment cool.Changes have also been made in GMP’s 1,320 square foot control room. “We haven’t run the compressors that operate the heating and cooling system in over two months,” said Pete Sheil, Building Services Worker. “We’re keeping the space at a comfortable temperature just by using fans to mix cold outside air with the heat produced by the computers and the staff. An additional benefit of this new approach is that we’re continually bringing more fresh air into the building, which contributes to employee comfort, alertness and productivity, especially in closed areas such as conference rooms.”Gregory Johnson, VP of Business Development at Kilawatt Technologies, said, “Including their reduction in natural gas use, our data driven energy management program has helped Green Mountain Power reduce overall energy consumption by 20.5 percent at its Colchester headquarters. We applaud Green Mountain Power’s leadership in achieving these significant energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions and saving its customers money. We’re starting to work with Green Mountain Power at its Montpelier facility and expect to see even more significant reductions. We encourage other Vermont companies to undertake similar efforts.”Electricity savings in Colchester to date have exceeded 140,000 kilowatt hours or enough to power 19 average size Vermont homes for a year. “This is part of Green Mountain Power’s on-going commitment to energy conservation,” said Towne. “It’s an approach that saves money for our customers and benefits the environment.”
by Anne Galloway on March 11, 2011 vtdigger.org Whether you’re talking about your household checking account or the state General Fund, the math can be boiled down to a simple subtraction problem: revenues ‘ expenses = X.In good years X equals surpluses; for the last four years, that X has been a negative number in the many millions at the beginning of the state budgeting process. This year the figure in red represents 12 percent of the state’s budget, or about $176 million. In this legislative session, there is no Uncle Sam at the ready to bail out states with fistfuls of ready cash. In fact, the old man may have empty pockets next year and leave us with a new deficit problem caused by significant reductions in programs like the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (that federal cut would amount to $14 million if it goes through).In order to resolve this year’s budget gap, Gov. Peter Shumlin has proposed an austere budget that would cut $43.8 million from the Agency of Human Services and raise $30 million in new taxes on medical providers. He has refused to consider using budget stabilization funds (rainy day money) or raising ‘broad-based’ taxes, i.e. income taxes, to soften the blow to programs for the elderly, developmentally disabled and mentally ill.Despite public pressure and internal rumblings in the General Assembly, it appears that Sen. John Campbell, president pro tem of the Senate, and House Speaker Shap Smith have locked arms with the governor on the no new taxes pledge. When Campbell and Smith stood in front of 1,000 people who gathered in front of the Statehouse to protest the human services cuts on Wednesday, neither leader offered much comfort in the way of promises to restore the cuts. Smith, for example, told the activists he wouldn’t make promises he couldn’t keep.Several Progressive members of the General Assembly meanwhile are pressing for taxes on the wealthy to ameliorate the worst of the reductions in state spending. The Democratic leadership, however, is doggedly singing the familiar refrain: ‘We can’t tax our way out of this.’It was in this light that Speaker Smith issued an ultimatum to the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday: Stick with the program.Smith made an appearance in front of the committee to reinforce party discipline. He asked lawmakers to accept the governor’s budget, as is, and to refrain from the temptation to raise income taxes or place a levy on sugar-sweetened beverages.He argued that the governor’s budget already raises a significant amount of revenue ‘ $30 million in new health care provider taxes.‘The budget does not balance if we do not have $30 million in new revenues,’ Smith said. ‘The scope of what the governor has proposed is a good direction to go in.’The speaker then ticked off a list of talked-about taxation options he said ‘I think we should avoid.’ At the top? A sugar-sweetened beverage tax. ‘It’s not that I don’t believe it’s appropriate at some point and time,’ Smith said. He told the committee it would make more sense to levy a tax on soda as part of a health care package at some point as a way to incentivize healthy behaviors. ‘Sin taxes’ shape behavior, in his view, and they are ‘not the best way to generate stable revenue.’The speaker took care to say he ‘broadly’ supports the Vermont Blue Ribbon Tax Structure Commission report, but he hoped legislators ‘would not confuse’ that with the capacity to raise taxes. While he didn’t foreclose on the possibility that taxes could be increased, he strongly urged lawmakers to refrain from using the restructuring of the tax code as a vehicle for raising taxes.Smith said the commission’s recommendations were revenue neutral (they didn’t raise more in taxes), and he wants House Ways and Means to keep it that way.‘We ought to be cautious about moving away from that framework,’ Smith said. ‘We may need a new framework in the future.’The dirty little secret, Smith said, is ‘we can’t raise that much money in income taxes’ (for fiscal year 2012) unless the state retroactively applies the rates. Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.org (www.vtdigger.org(link is external))
State Organization, Award, AmountNew Awards California Creating Economic Opportunities For Women, Inc. $146,055 California LTSC Community Development Corporation$91,000 District of ColumbiaThe Aspen Institute$136,500 Georgia Appalachian Community Enterprises, Inc.$98,844 Maine Washington Hancock Community Agency$140,204 Missouri Justine Petersen Housing & Reinvestment Corporation$113,750 New York Seedco Financial Services, Inc.$227,500 New York CAMBA, Inc.$227,500 Ohio Economic And Community Development Institute, Inc.$227,500 Pennsylvania Northside Community Development Fund $68,809 Virginia Virginia Community Capital, Inc.$73,819 Washington Highline Community College$125,274 Option Year AwardsAlabama Alabama A&M $50,250 Alaska University of Alaska, Anchorage $134,000 ArizonaPPEP Microbusiness & Housing Development $86,408 ArizonaWinrock International Institute for Ag. Development $67,000 Arizona Microbusiness Advancement Center $60,300 California ElPajaro $167,500 California Mission EDA $167,500 California Kitchen Ventures $160,000 California Womens Initiative for Self Employment $120,060 California Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center $100,500 California Women’s Economic Ventures $83,152 California Central Valley Business Incubator $67,000 CaliforniaNational Community Development Institute $67,000 California Valley EDC $67,000 California CAMEO $50,250 California OBDC Small Business Finance $50,250 California Opportunity Fund $50,250 California Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment $50,250 California Union of Pan Asian Communities $50,250 California Womens Initiative for Self Employment $50,250 CaliforniaCreating Economic Opportunities for Women $31,530 ColoradoInternational Cntr for Appropriate and Sustainable Tech (ICAST) $60,300 Delaware Delaware State University $50,250 District of Columbia The Aspen Institute $67,000 District of Columbia ISED Solutions $50,250 Florida Business Outreach Center Network $167,500 Florida Business Loan Fund of the Palm Beaches $50,250 Georgia Appalachian Community enterprises $50,250 Hawaii Pacific Gateway $50,250 Idaho Mountain States Group, Inc. $60,300 Illinois Jane Adams Hull House Association $67,000 Indiana Neighborhood Self-Employment Initiative $50,250 Iowa ISED Ventures $90,500 Iowa ISED Ventures $50,250 Kentucky Community Ventures Corporation $67,000 Kentucky Jewish Family & Career Service, Inc. $50,250 Louisiana Good Work Network $167,500 Louisiana Options for Independence $33,500 Maine University of Maine $83,750 Maine Penquis Community Action Program $67,000 Maryland Microenterprise Council of Maryland $50,250 Massachusetts International Institute of Boston $68,460 Massachusetts Center for Women & Enterprise $67,000 Massachusetts International Institute of Boston $67,000 Massachusetts Community Teamwork $33,500 Michigan Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living $134,000 MichiganCenter for Empowerment & Economic Development $50,250 Michigan Conerstone Alliance $50,250 Mississippi Delta State University $60,300 Missouri SE Missouri State University PRIME 1 $99,771 Missouri SE Missouri State University $65,368 NavadaNevada Micro-Enterprise Development Corp $60,300 NebraskaCentral Plains Foundation, Inc (dba GROW Nebraska) $50,250 Nebraska Nebraska Enterprise Fund $50,250 New Jersey Rising Tide Capital, Inc $67,000 New Mexico New Mexico Community Capital $60,300 New Mexico WESST Corp $33,500 New York East Harlem Business Capital Corporation $125,520 New York Queens EDC $88,859 New York Syracuse University $83,750 New YorkNew York Women’s Chamber of Commerce $67,000 New York Capital District community Loan Fund, Inc. $50,250 New York South Bronx Overall Econ Development $50,250 New York Local Initiatives Support Corps $33,500 North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center $50,250 OhioEconomic Community Development Institute $50,250 Oklahoma Little Dixie Community Action Agency $50,250 Oregon Adelante Mujeres $67,000 Oregon Umpqua Community Development Corp $67,000 OregonOR Native American Business & Entrepreneurial Network $66,831 Oregon Mercy Corps International $50,501 Oregon Oregon Microenterprise Network $33,500 Pennsylvania American Cities Foundation $50,250 Pennsylvania Community Capital Works $83,750 Puerto Rico Alianza Municipal de Servicios Inegrodos $60,300 Texas Del Mar College District $120,600 Texas Southwest Community Investment Corp $67,000 VermontCentral Vermont Community Action Council, Inc $67,000 Virginia Credit Builders 10-Y-0059 $133,998 Virginia People Incorporated Financial Services $67,000 Virginia Credit Builders Alliance 9-Y-0150 $33,500 Washington SNAP Financial Access $106,052 Washington Metropolitan Development Council $50,250 WashingtonWashington State Microenterprise Association $50,250 West Virginia Work4WV $117,250 West Virginia Unlimited Futures $60,300 Wisconsin WI Women’s Business Initiative Corp. $67,000 Wyoming Wyoming women’s Business Center $105,087US SBA 9.8.2011 Central Vermont Community Action Council, Inc ($67,000) is among 100 nonprofit organizations from 44 states and the District of Columbia to receive grants under the Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs Act (PRIME), the US Small Business Administration announced today. Grants will be used to provide business-based training and technical assistance to low-income and very low-income entrepreneurs to help them start, operate, or grow a small business. Grants will also be used to better equip community-based nonprofit organizations to provide training. ‘In the midst of the economic downturn the country has been experiencing, SBA’s PRIME grants are an increasingly important tool in our toolbox to help small businesses,’ said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. ‘With these grants to nonprofit organizations, more entrepreneurs will have access to the training and technical assistance they need to have their businesses grow, succeed, create jobs and promote stronger local economies.’PRIME grants are intended to help qualified community-based organizations provide training to small businesses with five or fewer employees that are economically disadvantaged, and businesses owned by low-income individuals, including those who live on Indian reservations and tribal lands. The PRIME grants competition was open to all 50 states and territories, with about $7.9 million available for PRIME grants this year. Approximately $6.3 million was awarded to grantees that received funding in previous years to allow them to continue work in their communities begun in FY2009 and FY2010. Grants totaling approximately $1.67 million were awarded for new projects. Grants ranged up to $227,500 this year and require a 50 percent match by each recipient organization. The PRIME grant is open to microentrepreneur training and technical assistance providers in all 50 states and U.S territories, and has a one-year performance period, with four 12-month options. For a complete list of new and option year PRIME grants, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/prime-grantees(link is external) and click on ‘2011.’