Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WVTK Local & State News December 17, 2014

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin announced that he is delaying moving forward with single payer. A press release says a financial report released by Governor Shumlin would require double digit payroll tax on Vermont businesses and up to 9.5 percent public premium assessment on individual Vermonters' income to pay for Green Mountain Care, the statewide public healthcare system. Governor Shumlin acknowledges that the financing plan would be detrimental to Vermonters, employers, and the state's overall economy.

Porter Hospital and the nurses union have reached an agreement on a contract. This is the first-ever contract for nurses at Porter Hospital. Details of the 3-year-pact were not disclosed but will be available once the contract has been ratified, which official say should be in about a week or two.

The Cornwall Selectboard voted last night to table the a negotiated agreement with Vermont Gas Systems regarding the Phase II natural gas pipeline. About 25 people should up to the meeting last night saying the agreement is flawed. The agreement calls for Cornwall to drop its opposition to the project in exchange for Vermont Gas making some substantial financial concessions that would collectively reduce local residents’ property taxes by an estimated 4 percent. You can look at the proposed agreement on the town’s website,

More narcotics charges are being dropped because of lost evidence linked to former Colchester Police Detective Tyler Kinney. Prosecutors say four more cases are being dismissed because of missing evidence, all felony or misdemeanor drug offenses. Kinney was arrested last month on federal charges accusing him of stealing drugs and a handgun from the department evidence locker he managed.

Patricia Prue is offering to plead guilty to the murder of private school teacher Melissa Jenkins in exchange for a life sentence. Prue's offer was revealed yesterday, and is contingent on her being able to communicate in writing with her husband in prison. Allen Prue was convicted of killing Jenkins in October and is scheduled to be sentenced today in St. Johnsbury. A judge says he will not consider Patricia Prue's offer until she undergoes a mental competency exam.

Vermont Health Connect is extending the deadline to sign up for coverage that starts on January 1. The website has a message on it saying, Please note: January 1 will be the default start date if you confirm a plan choice by December 31. If you don’t need coverage in January, please call and request a February 1 start date. The initial deadline to get coverage by January 1 was December 15. Open enrollment ends February 15.