Tuesday, December 2, 2014

WVTK Local & State News December 2, 2014

Vergennes Union High School students will be back in the classroom tomorrow. Last Friday, there was a steam leak from a pipe that caused some damage. Since then officials have been moving equipment and planning on were some classes will be moved to. The building was open to teachers and staff today. Tomorrow all classes and activities will be back to normal schedules.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is calling for a two-cent increase in the state school property tax rate for the 2016 fiscal year. Shumlin says the increase is needed to offset a projected three-percent increase in statewide school spending. The governor says the projected increase is half of what was put into place for the current fiscal year. Around 30-percent of the state's general fund spending is on education.

The number are in and Vermont State Police were busy over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Troopers investigated 245 crashes over the holiday, with two of them involving a death. State Police also made 19 drunk driving arrests, wrote close to 500 speeding tickets and assisted drivers of close to 200 disabled vehicles. Troopers were forced to cancel several sobriety checkpoints that had been slated for Thanksgiving Eve because of heavy snow.

Supporters of a plan for Vermont to become the first state in the country to enact a single-payer health care system are urging the governor and Legislature to move forward with the plan. 16 groups, including the state employees' and teachers' union, say that the election was not a call to abandon the move to Green Mountain Care, a universal publicly funded system. The Shumlin Administration is scheduled next month to release a funding plan for that effort.

Green Mountain Power is the first utility in the world to receive B-Corporation certification. The certification means the company had to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance as well as accountability and transparency. GMP joins Ben & Jerry’s, Vermont Creamery, King Arthur, and SunCommon along with 17 other companies in the Green Mountain State to receive the B-Corp Certification.