Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WVTK Local & State News February 18, 2015

The Shumlin Administration says two new reports support increase in funding to Vermont's Blueprint for Health. A press release says the program is leading national efforts to slow the growth of health care costs. One report found that the state was saving up to $2,200 per person, per year. The Vermont Blueprint for Health (Blueprint) is a program for patients, improving the health of the overall population, and improving control over health care costs by promoting health maintenance, prevention, and care coordination and management. The two reports were from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services, which focused on the Support and Services and Home (SASH) program.

The most detailed bill yet to legalize and regulate marijuana in Vermont was submitted in the legislature yesterday. The 44 page bill was offered by Chittenden Senator David Zuckerman, and would allow residents to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Zuckerman says the bill is a good starting point, but he does not expect it to gain any real traction this year. However, he feels the bill will lay the groundwork for a serious effort for passage next year.

The Vermont Lottery is launching a new program that will provide competitive technology grants to school districts. The program will provide successful bidders with 20 new iPads or Google Chromebooks, with the choice made by the winning school. Special consideration for the grants is being given to school districts in very rural areas, especially those in the free and reduced lunch program. The deadline for schools to apply for grants is March 27th.

Organizers have set the date for this year’s Middlebury Maple Run. The seventh annual Maple Run will take place on May 3. The half-marathon is expected to attract 800 to 1,000 runners and raises money for Addison County nonprofit groups. This year’s race includes a post-run pancake breakfast, finisher’s medals from Maple Landmark Woodcraft, personalized race bibs and a shot of UnTapped maple syrup, which organizers describe as “an all-natural athletic fuel.” The Addison County Chamber of Commerce estimates the race provides direct economic impact to the area of at least $100,000. For information, visit