Public Policy

State looks at inequity in school discipline of disabled, minority students

Vermont Legal Aid's release "Kicked Out! Unfair and Unequal Discipline in Vermont’s Public Schools” was released January 6, 2015. Courtesy of VT Legal Aid.

Vermont is investigating how students are expelled or suspended at school, after a study revealed much higher discipline rates resulting in suspension among minority and disabled students.

Slideshow: Vermont State Police recognize officers

Members of the tactical team who helped in the search for the Dannemora Prison escapees.

At the annual ceremony, the Vermont State Police honored the tactical team that aided in the capture of the two escaped Dannemora prisoners, as well as many veterans of public safety in Vermont.

Blue Cross says state is liable for unpaid premiums, claims

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Insurance of Vermont in Berlin, Vt.

The largest insurer in the state’s health insurance exchange will no longer seek to recover unpaid claims and premiums from providers and customers whose policies were not promptly terminated by Vermont Health Connect.

Report: Number of children in state custody up by 33 percent

Peighton Geraw, 15 months (L), and Dezirae Sheldon, 2, who both died in 2014 while the state Department of Children and Families had open cases on them. Courtesy photos.

Lawmakers feared that children were being reunified with their families before parents were fit to care for them, and changed the law to focus instead on serving “the best interest of the child” — which may not include bringing children back home.

Essex, Westford may create first unified district under new law

school bus

Three towns, Essex Junction, Essex Town and Westford may become the first to create a unified education district under Vermont’s just-enacted law that incentivizes unification across smaller districts by offering taxpayer discounts.

Regulators approve UVM Medical Center’s $187 million inpatient facility

Architect's drawing shows Fletcher Allen Health Care's proposed inpatient facility. Courtesy of Fletcher Allen

Green Mountain Care Board OKs plans by the state’s largest hospital to build a new in-patient facility, but adds financial caveats.

Psychiatric nurse disciplined for abusive treatment of patient

Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital

A nurse at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin was placed on administrative leave for implementing “planned ignoring” strategy on patient for whom it was not recommended.

Eric Miller sworn in as Vermont’s top federal prosecutor

Clyde Robinson/Creative Commons

Vermont’s new U.S. Attorney calls opiate abuse “the most critical issue facing this office and this state.”

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Vermont health data collection case

Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell, center, leaves the U.S. Second District Court of Appeals in New York City. Photo by Andrew Stein

ERISA appeal concerns whether companies that offer self-insured health benefit plans to employees have to report claims data to the state.

Ludlow woman’s Medicaid fraud charges are second such case in two months

A Ludlow woman was arraigned last week on two felony counts of Medicaid fraud and three felony counts of false pretenses, according to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office. Jennifer Newsome, 50, of Ludlow was arraigned June 23 in Windsor Superior Court on charges that she submitted more than $30,000 in Medicaid claims for services that […]

Vermont’s out-of-state inmates arrive at Michigan prison

The Department of Corrections confirmed Tuesday that 280 Vermont inmates housed at private prisons located out of state have been transported to a prison in Michigan. The news comes the day Vermont’s current contract with the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is set to expire. It will be replaced by a new agreement with the […]

UVM campus to go tobacco free Aug. 1

The University of Vermont will become a tobacco-free campus starting Aug. 1. UVM President Tom Sullivan announced the new policy in a memo Tuesday to the UVM community, citing the known health risks associated with smoking tobacco. UVM joins 1,500 other colleges and universities by implementing the policy. The creation of a tobacco-free campus was […]

Veterans to be given in-state tuition in Vermont, nation

Community College of Vermont President Joyce Judy speaks at a news conference Monday at the CCV campus in Montpelier about a new national benefit which allows veterans and active duty military to pay in-state tuition at public colleges and universities regardless of their state of residence. In the center is David Carlson, the coordinator of veteran student services at the University of Vermont, who returned from serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and enrolled at CCV, completing his degree at UVM, and Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges. Photo by Amy Ash Nixon/VTDigger

The new benefit, passed by Congress last year, includes tuition to any of the Vermont State Colleges as well as the University of Vermont.

Fentanyl found in heroin that killed two brothers

Investigators found signs of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate, at the Ward Street residence where two brothers died in the same room June 18 in Burlington. Police suspect that brothers Sean and Dennis Thibault, ages 32 and 34 respectively, died from a drug overdose. If so, they will be the latest fatalities in […]

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