Vermont News Briefs

VTDigger’s beat reporters cover health care, politics, education, energy, the environment, business and state finances. We offer brief Vermont news stories on issues are are keeping tabs on.

Senate passes bill to expand doctor recovery program

The Vermont Senate passed a bill, S.14, on Friday that would extend the scope of a program that helps doctors recover from substance abuse. The voluntary Vermont Practitioner Health Program was designed to protect the public. Many doctors are referred to it by the Vermont Board of Medical Practice. If the bill becomes law, Vermont […]

Hermitage Club celebrates Act 250 master plan approval

(Editor’s note: This article by Chris Mays was published by the Brattleboro Reformer on Feb. 18, 2017.) WILMINGTON — While several other approvals will need to be in place for different projects proposed by the Hermitage Club to proceed, the company is celebrating its biggest hurdle: the Act 250 master plan permit. “The Hermitage Club is […]

Sanders says Trump is a ‘pathological liar’

Via Twitter, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., pounced on President Donald Trump’s ongoing assault on the media. In a campaign style rally Saturday in Florida, Trump said “fake news” outlets are the “enemy of the people” and said he would not allow the media “get away with lying.” The president tweeted the message and pointed to […]

Leahy, Sanders vote ‘no’ on Pruitt nomination for EPA

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., voted against the nomination of Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency. The Senate approved Pruitt for the post in a 52 to 46 vote. He is the 14th agency nominee proposed by President Donald Trump who has been confirmed by the Senate. Find a […]

Lawmakers elect UVM trustees, sergeant-at-arms

The Legislature elected three new members of the University of Vermont board of trustees at a joint session of the House and Senate on Thursday. Former House Speaker Shap Smith, who was a longtime Democratic representative, got the most votes with 102. Smith lost a bid for lieutenant governor last year. Rep. Johannah Leddy Donovan, […]

Students help group turn advocacy into song

Students who met an education nonprofit’s challenge to produce and deliver a song about a new law were honored with a resolution in the Vermont House on Wednesday. “I believe that Act 77 gives us a reason to care about our learning and a way to apply our passions to our education,” Grace Ecklund Gustavson, […]

Senate advances medical marijuana expansion

The Vermont Senate advanced a bill Wednesday that would expand the state’s medical marijuana program. The bill, S.16, would create more licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries and allow more patients to access the system. Senators approved the bill on a voice vote with no opposition. The bill doubles the number of dispensary licenses available in […]

Regulators fast-track $112M hospital records system

State regulators have fast-tracked a request from the University of Vermont Medical Center to build a $112.4 million information technology system. The Green Mountain Care Board, which regulates hospital revenue and major capital investments in health care, has approved an expedited review process for issuing a certificate of need for the project. The board has […]

Senate confirms three members of Scott administration

Senators confirmed Michael Schirling as secretary of commerce and community development with strong support Tuesday. Gov. Phil Scott’s appointment of Schirling was confirmed by a vote of 29 in favor, none opposed. Sen. Philip Baruth, D-Chittenden, introduced Schirling on the floor, praising his achievements in technology and law enforcement. “He has had two fantastically successful […]

UVM faculty union blasts spending on executives, managers

BURLINGTON — As contract negotiations get underway between the University of Vermont and the union representing faculty, the union says the school is spending too much on managers and executives and not enough on professors. The current three-year contract expires June 30. The University of Vermont chapter of United Academics/AFT cites a study by the […]

Scott declares Monday ‘a powder day’

As the biggest snowstorm of the year bears down on Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott has declared Monday a “powder day.” Scott is urging regional skiers and snowboarders to take advantage of the excellent conditions Monday and Tuesday and stay an extra day or two in Vermont, visit the state mid-week or book a stay for […]

Two snowmobilers believed drowned in Lake Champlain

The Vermont State Police and New York State Police are searching for two missing snowmobilers on Lake Champlain. The two men, Jonathan Ryan, 32, of Shoreham, and Brandon Barrett, 23, of Benson, were reported missing Thursday night, according to a report from the Vermont State Police. Their truck and trailer were parked at Benson Landing. […]

Dartmouth-Hitchcock HR head announces exit

(This article by Rick Jurgens was first published in the Valley News on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017.) LEBANON — The exodus of top executives from Dartmouth-Hitchcock continues, with an announcement that today will be Chief Human Resources Officer John Malanowski’s last in that job. An emailed announcement on Thursday by D-H Chief Executive James Weinstein […]

State tax receipts up for the month of January

The Scott administration is reporting an uptick in tax revenues for January. Receipts for the general fund were up by $3.12 million last month. Overall general fund revenues for the first seven months of fiscal year 2017 are 3.1 percent, or $24.56 million, above tax collections for the same period in fiscal year 2016. Susanne […]