Monday, June 9, 2014

WVTK Local & State News June 9, 2014

You might want to take a closer look at your grocery bill. If you haven't noticed already, milk prices are way up from where they were a year ago. The price of milk is a lot higher than where it was last spring. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a gallon of whole milk cost $3.69 in April. That's up 7.5 percent from where it was at the same time a year ago and is the highest price shoppers have seen since way back in September of 2011. Unfortunately, analysts expect prices to continue to rise, at least for now. Farmers here aren't getting as big a cut as you might think, though. Currently, only a third of retail prices is what's called the "farm share." In the 80's, they used to get half.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed a law earlier today that will increase the state’s minimum wage. The law will increase the wage in stages, by 2018, it will increase to $10.50 an hour. Beginning in 2019, the law calls for annual increases, which will be tied to inflation. Vermont’s currently minimum wage is $8.73 an hour.

The South Burlington Police Department is investigating vandalism done at Rice Memorial High School. The incident happened sometime during the overnight hours between Saturday and Sunday. Police say vandalism consisted of light blue paint on many windows, doors, and skylights on the roof. Eggs were also thrown at several windows and doors. The vandalism was discovered a few hours before graduation ceremonies scheduled at the school.

Vermont Health Connect has missed another deadline. People were supposed to be able to make small changes to their health insurance accounts Sunday, but that's being delayed again. The contractor's original deadline was May 21, but then it was pushed back to June 8. Commissioner Mark Larson said good progress is being made, but the change isn't ready for the public yet.

Republican Randy Brock says he will not run for Vermont governor this year. Brock says he had been thinking about running for awhile. He says after considering many factors including campaign-related and personal he decided not to run. The republican lost to Democrat Peter Shumlin in the 2012 Vermont governor's race. Business owner Scott Milne says he is considering running in the republican primary. Milne says he is "disappointed" by Brock's decision.