BURLINGTON – The Vermont Economic Development Authority approved $64.3 million in financing in fiscal year 2013, which leveraged additional private capital for business projects that totaled $185.1 million, VEDA announced Friday at its annual meeting.
The 79 commercial and small business loans impacted 2,696 jobs with an average hourly wage of $31.71, including benefits.
Gov. Peter Shumlin and economist Hugh Johnson were scheduled to speak at the event.
“In FY 2013, VEDA’s lending activity coincided with Vermont’s recovery from incredible natural disaster experienced the year before,” said Jo Bradley, VEDA’s chief executive officer. “Where the Authority broke records in FY 2012, delivering an unprecedented level of emergency financing to devastated businesses and farms, this year VEDA’s financing activity normalized to levels we knew prior to Tropical Storm Irene.”
At the end of its fiscal year in June, manufacturing accounted for 21 percent of VEDA’s financing portfolio, with agriculture comprising 34 percent, travel and tourism, 13 percent, and service-related businesses 19 percent.
In the past five years, VEDA has approved 1,887 separate financing instruments totaling $644.4 million.
The newly created Vermont Sustainable Energy Loan Fund will provide a strong incentive for Vermont businesses and farms to invest in energy in sustainable ways, lower their carbon footprint, and increase their bottom line, Bradley said.
VEDA’s 2013 annual report is available at www.veda.org.
NORWICH — Norris “Norrie” Hoyt, a former state representative who also served in top offices in the administrations of both Republican and Democratic Vermont governors, has died.
Hoyt died Sunday at his home in Norwich. He was 76.
Hoyt grew up in Massachusetts. He moved to Vermont in 1969 to become deputy commissioner of the Vermont Tax Department.
He later served five terms in the Vermont Legislature.
Hoyt later served as commissioner of Liquor Control until he retired from public life in 1998.
Gov. Peter Shumlin called Hoyt a rare public servant who relied on humor and common sense to fix problems and who was devoted to improving the lives of Vermonters.
A celebration of Hoyt’s life will be held at Norwich home on Sept. 14.
MONTPELIER (AP) — Gov. Peter Shumlin has appointed a former aide to the Vermont Commission on Women.
Ariel Wengroff of Burlington joins six other members of the commission that works to reduce sex discrimination and increase opportunities for women.
Wengroff formerly worked as a constituent correspondent and then special assistant to the governor. She currently is communications and finance director for Congressman Peter Welch. She also blogs for the Huffington Post and is an award winning poet.
As a member of the commission, Wengroff says she hopes to focus on pay equity and ending workplace discrimination.
By DAVE GRAM
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — A 2013 legislative session marked by fiscal caution and an adventurous approach to social issues closed Tuesday night as lawmakers passed a nearly $1.4 billion general fund budget and put off a bid to put new limits on political campaign contributions.
“We stood together for Vermont, and we did so without raising general fund taxes, which will help keep our economic recovery squarely on track,” Gov. Peter Shumlin told lawmakers as he thanked them for good work this year.
The session was marked by moderate spending initiatives and bolder social ones. Lawmakers decriminalized possessing small amounts of marijuana and hashish, agreed to allow physicians to supply lethal medications to terminal ill patients who request it, and set up a new type of driver’s license for the immigrants in the country illegally who staff many of the state’s dairy farms.
They did not get new limits on campaign contributions and requirements for transparency of money in politics into law, however.
“We’d rather wait until we get a really good bill than start making compromises,” Sen. Jeanette White, who chairs the Senate Government Operations Committee, said of the campaign finance bill.
MONTPELIER — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration is asking for a bit more time to report on its ideas for paying for an ambitious overhaul of the state’s health care system.
A law passed in 2011 set Tuesday, Jan. 15, as the day the administration was to give lawmakers answers to the often asked question of how the Green Mountain Care single-payer health plan will be paid for.
Administration officials say they now want a bit more time — until Jan. 24, when Shumlin is scheduled to deliver his annual budget address to lawmakers — to outline the plan’s possible financing.
Mark Larson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access, says such requests for extensions are not uncommon.
MONTPELIER — Corporate income tax receipts kept Vermont revenues on track in December, while other taxes ranging from those on personal income to motor fuels performed short of their targets.
That’s the word from Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding, who says overall general fund revenues are running nearly 2 percent short of their target for the first six months of the current fiscal year.
The personal income tax continued to lag in December, coming in at about $57 million, or nearly 4 percent less than what had been expected when state revenue targets were set in July.
But corporate income taxes came in at $22.5 million, about 73 percent ahead of what had been expected for the month.
Both the sales and use and rooms and meals taxes lagged their targets in December.
MONTPELIER — Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin will lead the bill as statewide elected officials are sworn in to new two-year terms of office.
Joining Shumlin in taking the oath of office will be incumbent Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, Secretary of State Jim Condos, Treasurer Beth Pearce, Attorney General William Sorrell and first-time auditor Doug Hoffer.
Shumlin will deliver his second inaugural address to lawmakers on Thursday afternoon, and is expected to urge reforms to Vermont’s education system.
Lawmakers also are to get a report from a special canvassing committee that officially declares the results of November’s elections.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont lawmakers have agreed to push the governor’s annual budget address back a week, to give the fiscal situation in Washington a chance to become more clear.
Officials said Wednesday they had planned to have the governor outline his spending plan on Jan. 17, during the second week of this year’s legislative session.
Instead, they’ll wait until the following Thursday. Congress reached a compromise on New Year’s Day to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and its round of automatic spending cuts and tax increases.
But they left decisions about spending cuts for deliberations to come, creating uncertainty about federal aid to the states.
More than a third of the money Vermont spends comes from the federal government.
MONTPELIER — Preparations continue for an unusual Vermont inaugural celebration.
Instead of the traditional ball, Gov. Peter Shumlin is ushering in his second term with a special open house combined with a fundraiser for Irene recovery relief on Jan. 10 at the Statehouse in Montpelier.
The 4:30 p.m. even will follow the governor’s swearing-in and inaugural speech to lawmakers earlier in the day.
Shumlin is asking businesses and individuals to donate what they might normally contribute toward the ball instead to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.
That fund is helping continuing efforts to recover from Tropical Storm Irene 16 months ago.
MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin says the rest of the country should look to Vermont on how to manage firearms, but he’ll leave it to Congress to debate access to military-style assault weapons.
Shumlin says Vermont has a strong hunting culture and strong support for the right to own and use firearms. But he tells The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/TsW8UE), “People don’t use machines of war to shoot whitetail deer.”
The issue of access to assault weapons has come to the fore following several recent mass shootings, including the massacre of elementary school students and staff in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14.
The National Rifle Association — which opposes most firearms regulations — has supported Shumlin, and contributed to his re-election campaign this year.