Thursday, February 5, 2015

WVTK Local & State News February 5, 2015

Lawmakers in Montpelier today are looking at a bill that would consolidate a number of school districts in the state. The legislation calls for school districts within a supervisory union to merge into a single supervisory district, a move that would see multiple schools governed by a single school board. Also under the proposal, principals would have more authority. The bill would also mandate language on ballots to give voters a better understanding of how a school budget will impact them financially.

A key Vermont lawmaker is looking to stimulate more renewable energy projects in the state. Representative Tony Klein of East Montpelier says incentives could be used to encourage clean energy projects on developed lands. Klein is chairman of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee. He told the panel yesterday that expedited permitting and generous rates on clean energy will encourage developers to invest.

Castleton State College says a four foot Rainbow Boa was stolen from a science lab on campus. The snake was a personal pet of a professor and was on campus for observation in a class. The college says it is unlikely that the snake would try to get out of its habitat or try to leave the room on its own. The snake cannot survive outside the lab for more than a couple hours in the building and minutes if not placed in a heat protected environment. The college says the snake is not poisonous and doesn't have any teeth. The Boa is orange in color and has a Brazilian origin. The college is investigating the incident.

A citizen’s group has two proposals to the ID-4 school district regarding the school budget for Mary Hogan Elementary School. At their next meeting, on Monday Night, the ID-4 School Board will review the proposals. Currently the budget is voted-on during the ID-4 annual meeting, which is held on the second Wednesday in April. The citizen’s group would like to see the school spending plan approved by Australian Ballot on Town Meeting Day instead of at the annual meeting by a voice vote.

Governor Peter Shumlin says the biggest challenge facing Vermont's economy is finding enough skilled workers. Shumlin attended the Vermont Manufacturers Summit yesterday in Burlington. He says the state needs to make targeted investments in workforce development to continue job creation progress made last year. Shumlin says the state created around four-thousand jobs in 2014, with most coming in the private sector.