Public Policy

State awards $2.6 million in health care reform grants

The Shumlin Administration has announced $2.6 million in health care reform grants to seven organizations. The grants, fevealed on Friday, will support initiatives to align doctor and hospital payments with quality outcomes, increase coordination within the health care system and create an interoperable electronic medical records system to support the sharing of patient information across organizations. […]

Lawmakers to revisit fossil fuel divestment

Sen. Anthony Pollina, file photo by Josh Larkin.

In 2014, a bid to divest state retirement funds from fossil fuel industries failed in the legislature. Activists plan a new push in the new year, and one state senator promises to reintroduce divestment legislation. State Treasurer Beth Pearce opposes the move, saying she prefers to have “a seat at the table” with the industry.

Interim Burlington school administrators jointly resign

Burlington School District clerk Liz Curry and chair Patrick Halladay called an emergency news conference Friday afternoon to respond to the joint resignation of the entire interim administrative leadership team. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

The three-person interim leadership team of Burlington School District have announced their resignations. They said continued disrespect by school board members makes it impossible to accomplish their goals. The three had taken the reins of the district after the resignation of the former superintendent earlier this year.

Opiate treatment center to open in Bennington

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced an opiate addiction center in Bennington on Friday. Photo courtesy of Bennington Office of Economic and Community Development

Southwest Vermont will get a new opiate treatment center next year. A public-private partnership will provide services that are currently available an hour’s drive away. The new initiative was unveiled at a news conference Friday with Gov. Shumlin, state and local officials, and caregivers.

SCOV Law Blog: A subdivision dispute wends its way through the courts

Creative Commons photo by walknboston via Flickr

A landowner wishes to add an apartment to a single-family home in Burlington, as well as subdivide the property into two lots. Predictably, lots of folks get upset about it.

A call for action on Vermont endangered species

Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, gave the keynote address at the a symposium to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act at the ECHO Center in Burlington on Thursday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

At a forum celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act, experts said that some progress has been made, but new threats must be addressed. Chief among them are climate change and forest fragmentation.

Feds extend support for program that helps seniors stay healthy


The extension is good news for the Support and Services at Home program (SASH), which has shown positive results in maintaining the health of senior Vermonters. Its future remains in doubt because a new Medicare program may reduce its client base.

Health care exchange backlog reduced, but many cases still unresolved

VHC down new

Vermont Health Connect is making strides in reducing a backlog in change requests, but thousands more remain in the queue. VHC is trying to clear the backlog before Nov. 15, when a new open enrollment period begins.

Vermont opens state-of-the-art public health laboratory

An exam room at the new state Health Department laboratory in Colchester. Photo by Morgan True/VTDigger

The $31 million lab will house public health workers and UVM researchers, allowing for sharing of information and ideas. It will replace the state’s current lab, which is outdated and too small, officials say.

Planned Parenthood applauds new harassment ordinance

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England Tuesday applauded the Burlington City Council for strengthening the city’s buffer zone ordinance, but said the new version “only slightly mitigates the problem.” The city had to rework the ordinance, which is meant to protect patients from harassment outside reproductive health centers, after the U.S. Supreme Court in June […]

State rejects ban on motors at Wolcott Pond

Boats with small motors can continue to use Wolcott Pond, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation ruled Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2014. Vermont Fish and Wildlife photo

Petitioners claim 5 mph speed limit was not being enforced, but the Department of Environmental Conservation elects to permit small motors and improve signage and enforcement.

Clark to take the reins on AHS finances

Sarah Clark, deputy commissioner of the Vermont Department of Finance and Management, will take over as chief financial officer at the Agency of Human Services in 2015. Clark, who’s been in her current post for one year, will replace retiring CFO Jim Giffin. Her term at Finance and Management, where Clark reports to commissioner Jim […]

Teachers OK contract agreement in South Burlington

South Burlington teachers ratified a three-year contract with the school board Monday evening, according to a news release issued by the school board. Classes already had resumed Monday, following a four-day teachers’ strike, after union leaders and school board members reached a tentative contract agreement over the weekend. Members of the South Burlington Education Association […]

Health officials: VT Ebola case highly unlikely, but state is prepared

The Ebola virus. Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Trainings for health care providers emphasize asking patients about travel history and use of personal protective gear.

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