Public Policy

SCOV Law Blog: Separation anxiety

Creative Commons photo by walknboston via Flickr

The SCOV gives summary-judgment decisions a complete review. If there are no material factual disputes and the law is on a party’s side, then that party wins.

New groundwater discharge rules approved

When groundwater flows through springs or is pumped to the surface, it becomes surface water, which triggers a different regulatory framework than water stored underground. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Lawmakers approve an update of state regulations on injection wells. The new rules will omit many types of low-risk sites, but state officials say those sites have never effectively been regulated and the new rules will better reflect reality.

New DCF commissioner wants to focus on homelessness, substance abuse

Ken Schatz is the state's new commissioner of the Department for Children and Families. Photo by Laura Krantz/VTDigger

Ken Schatz also says Department for Children and Families “can’t put too much emphasis on reunification.”

State recovers $73,500 in Medicaid charges from Michigan drug-testing company

A Michigan drug-testing company will pay Vermont $73,500 to settle claims that it over-billed Medicaid for its services, the Attorney General’s Office said Thursday. A state investigation found five categories of billing errors that led to Medicaid overpayments to Physicians Toxicology LLC, the AG said in a news release. The company, which performed laboratory urinalysis […]

ACLU-VT accuses State Police of improper search and seizure

Creative Commons photo by redjar via Flickr

The Vermont State Police allegedly seized a Rutland man’s car over a suspicion that he had smoked marijuana. The ACLU of Vermont says the seizure was improper because possession of small quantities of marijuana is no longer a crime.

Milton couple convicted for submitting false Medicaid timesheets

A Milton couple were convicted of false pretenses this week for submitting false timesheets to obtain Medicaid payments, the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release. Clayton LaFond, 61, and Kim LaFond, 54, of Milton were found guilty of two misdemeanor counts of false pretenses in Windsor Superior Court. The couple were caring for […]

Failure to meet federal security checklist led to Vermont Health Connect shutdown

Lawrence Miller, chief of health care reform. Photo by Morgan True

Vermont Health Connect was taken down last weekend because the state was unable to meet a Sept. 8 federal deadline for security controls; the determination was not the result of a security breach or a specific threat, officials said.

State biologists don’t expect major impact from spiny water flea

Biologists for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife say the discovery of a new invasive species in Lake Champlain is unlikely to have a major impact. Scientists say the spiny water flea, a tiny crustacean, caused only minor concerns when it arrived in the Great Lakes. The department said in a news release that […]

State takes Vermont Health Connect website offline

Gov. Peter Shumlin (left) and interim Secretary of the Agency of Human Services Harry Chen announced Tuesday that the Vermont Health Connect website will be offline for repairs. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

State’s health care exchange could be down for weeks as officials work to improve security and user experience ahead of Nov. 15 open enrollment.

Study finds little racial bias in treatment of young offenders

John Perry, who retired last year as director of planning for the Vermont Department of Corrections, said sending hard-core drug addicts directly to treatment instead of prison could save the state’s taxpayers roughly $4 million a year. StockXchng illustration.

Report by the Vermont Center for Justice Research finds racial balance among males sent to court diversion and those tried as adults. Minority females tend to wind up in adult court, however.

Nutrient trading proposed as an option for reducing Lake Champlain pollution

Vermont Organics Reclamation cropped

Vermont Organics Reclamation buys on average 20 percent of a farm’s manure and pays farmers between $6 to $8 per cubic yard. The soils and fertilizer is sold to growers in cities.

Stowe still No. 1 school tax sending town

Stowe-Schools cropped

Stowe will send more than $19.4 million to the Education Fund this year — $2.2 million more than the No. 2 town — according to information compiled by the Vermont Agency of Education.

Consumer advocate critical of new quality standards for Accountable Care Organizations

New Health Care

Office of the Health Care Advocate says Green Mountain Care Board “lowered the bar” on quality standards for shared-savings network providers.

Feds distribute $2.1 million to health centers in Vermont

The federal agency of Health and Human Services announced Friday that Vermont’s federally qualified health centers will receive $2.1 million in Affordable Care Act money. The money will allow 10 health centers across Vermont to hire 47 new staff, including direct care providers, extend hours and expand services, according to a news release from the […]

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