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Vermont Attorney General wins $1M settlement against ‘payday’ lenders

Attorney General Bill Sorrell announced Tuesday the $1.625 million settlement of two lawsuits over "cramming" of consumers' landline telephone bills. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger
The lawsuits were possible because the Vermont Legislature passed legislation last year that cracks down on predatory lending. Under state statute, the attorney general can go after third party loan processors.


House lawmakers eye changes to Senate-passed involuntary medication bill

Dr. W. Gordon Frankle, left, chief of psychiatry for Rutland Regional Medical Center, and Dr. Craig Van Tuinen, former Vermont State Hospital psychiatrist who now works with severely mentally ill patients in a community setting, testify before the Senate Health and Welfare and Judiciary committees on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2014. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger
Opponents say consolidating the involuntary medication and treatment hearings would give patients less opportunity to voluntarily accept medication.


House passes medical marijuana bill

Keith Flynn, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. Photo by Anne Galloway
The House approved an amendment that will study potential tax revenue from legalizing and taxing pot.


Workforce issues may be linchpin in economic development bill

Bill Botzow, D-Bennington, chair of the House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development, said he will introduce a bill to increase the role of the Department of Public Service as consumer advocate during a news conference at the Statehouse Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
S.220 contains provisions for entrepreneurial lending, access to credit for small businesses, energy costs for manufacturers, domestic export promotion, computer crimes, intellectual property, demographics and tourism, to name a few.


Vermont will be first state in nation to require GMO labeling

Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden, is the lead sponsor of a bill to require manufacturers to label products containing GMOs.  Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger
Gov. Peter Shumlin said Wednesday he will sign Vermont’s GMO labeling bill into law. His announcement came just minutes after the House gave H.112 final legislative approval by a 114-30 vote.


VTDigger/Castleton Poll: 21 percent unsure about single payer

Peter Shumlin signed the historic health care reform act on the Statehouse steps on Thursday. VTD/Taylor Dobbs.
Forty percent expressed support for the concept, while 39 percent were opposed. More say Vermont Health Connect will increase access to insurance.


Vermont enacts first in the nation pension lending regulation

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed the nation's first-ever pension lending regulation into law at the Statehouse Tuesday. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger
Governor signs Vermont's latest law that regulates, rather than bans, pension lending; he also unveils recommendations of Commission on Successful Aging.


Wallack weighs consulting job with Dartmouth-Hitchcock, says it won’t conflict with her work for Vermont

Anya Rader Wallack
Former head of Green Mountain Care Board currently oversees $45 million federal grant to lead state's health care payment and delivery system.


Digger Projects

A User's Guide to Vermont Health Connect

This special section explains how Vermont's health care exchange works for individuals and small businesses. The guide includes interactive subsidy graphs, a navigator map and detailed information about subsidies, penalties and tax ramifications. Visit project


Jack Hoffman: Full-time workers should make enough to live on

By raising the minimum wage to $11.50 or $12 an hour and expanding the state’s tax credit for low-income, working families, Vermont could begin to close the huge gap between the cost of a decent standard of living and what most low-wage workers have to live on.

Caroline Snyder: Resist industry pressure

The we-need-more-research argument, especially if the research is done by industry-paid scientists, is simply a way to delay regulation and preserve the status quo.

Martine Victor: A bonanza of WiFi trumps our children

Here's the latest inconvenient truth: WiFi is an industrial strength microwave radiation, especially when used for powering a classroom full of computers.

Quote of the Day

“It shouldn’t surprise us that some folks have taken some old ideas and tuned them up, and put them back on the table.” — Gov. Peter Shumlin on health care consultant Ken Thorpe’s plan

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