Thursday, December 4, 2014

WVTK Local & State News December 4, 2014

The deadline for Vermont dairy farmers to enroll in a new price protection program has been extended to December 19. The Margin Protection Program is a voluntary insurance program that enables dairy farmers to protect themselves when prices fall. The program buffers farmers when the difference between milk prices and feed costs falls below an amount selected by the farmer. Minimum coverage costs $100. The deadline to enroll was tomorrow but Vermont's congressional delegation announced earlier today that the date has been extended by two weeks.

Governor Peter Shumlin says he will have a new healthcare financing plan ready by the end of the month. Shumlin's proposal will include single payer benefits and public financing proposals for the state's universal healthcare system, Green Mountain Care. Shumlin has targeted the end of the month for the release of his plan. He says that would give state lawmakers time to review it before their session begins next year.

A report from the group Grassroots Leadership is criticizing Vermont for shipping inmates out of state to serve their time in for profit prisons. The report indicates that in fiscal year 2013, Vermont spent nearly 13-million-dollars to send 500 prisoners to Kentucky and Arizona. The report says the practice is costly to families as well, not just financially but emotionally. Grassroots Leadership is a group dedicated to ending for profit prisons, and they visited the State House yesterday to bring attention to the issue.

After receiving a request from Governor Peter Shumlin, Vermont Gas Systems says it will hold off on filing eminent domain proceedings. Last week the Shumlin Administration sent a letter to Vermont Gas suggesting they should stop eminent domain filings against landowners along the pipeline route, provide a contact list of landowners who have not signed easements, and make copies of all easements signed so far to extend the company’s natural gas pipeline. The letter came four days after the governor’s executive team met with 11 landowners along the pipeline route in Addison County.