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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Coming Soon: Northern Vermont University — Johnson and Lyndon

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 7:28 PM

Lyndon State College - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • Lyndon State College
Welcome to Northern Vermont University — Johnson and Lyndon.

The Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees will vote on that new name Wednesday for the soon-to-be unified state colleges in the two towns.

(Update, 4:30 p.m. November 30: The board voted unanimously to approve the new name.)

Vermont State Colleges chancellor Jeb Spaulding, Johnson State College president Elaine Collins and Lyndon State College interim president Nolan Atkins unanimously recommended the choice to the trustees.

Spaulding, in a memo to the board that was released Tuesday, said the rechristening is meant to be concise, easily marketable and not confused with the University of Vermont.

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Shumlin: Repealing Obamacare Would Be a ‘Disaster’ for Vermont

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 3:33 PM

Gov. Peter Shumlin speaking Tuesday - TERRI HALLENBECK
  • Terri Hallenbeck
  • Gov. Peter Shumlin speaking Tuesday
If Republican president-elect Donald Trump makes good on his pledge to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, it will be a “disaster” for Vermont, Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin said Tuesday.

In 2010, 8.6 percent of Vermonters lacked health insurance. Last year, the number had dropped to 2.7 percent, the governor said. Vermont has the second lowest rate of uninsured people in the country overall, according to his office.

Vermonters who receive subsidies for their health coverage get a median of $300 per person per month, said Sean Sheehan, director of outreach and education at the Department of Vermont Health Access.

If Trump eliminates the health insurance programs enacted under President Barack Obama, as he has said he will, Vermonters would lose at least $100 million a year in subsidies, Shumlin said.

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Burlington Councilors Consider a Pay Raise for Themselves

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 2:48 PM

Burlington City Hall - FILE: ALICIA FREESE
  • File: Alicia Freese
  • Burlington City Hall
The Burlington City Council agreed unanimously on Monday to consider a wage hike for council members.

Currently, councilors earn $3,000 a year — a figure that has stayed the same for more than 12 years, according to independent Councilor Dave Hartnett, who sponsored the resolution. Given the time he spends on the job, “I don’t believe it would be even minimum wage,” he said.

“We do it for the love of the city … but I think we need to be realistic,” he told the council on Monday. “In the last 12 to 16 months, I feel like I’ve spent more time with city council than I have with my family. That’s valuable time.”

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U.S. Attorney’s Office Adds a Civil Rights Prosecutor

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 12:37 PM

U.S. Attorney Eric Miller, at podium - FILE: MARK DAVIS
  • FIle: Mark Davis
  • U.S. Attorney Eric Miller, at podium
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Burlington has hired a new prosecutor who will focus on enforcing civil rights laws.

Julia Torti, a Vermont native who worked as a civil rights attorney in New York, is one of 34 new assistant U.S. attorneys that the U.S. Department of Justice is hiring across the country to enforce laws against discrimination.

The Vermont office said it secured one of the positions through a competitive application process.

“Aggressive protection of the civil rights of the residents of Vermont is a top priority for the Department of Justice,” U.S. Attorney Eric Miller said in a prepared statement. “The Department and this U.S. Attorney’s Office are committed to a level playing field for all Vermont residents, promoting equal opportunity for Vermonters, and educating the public about their rights and responsibilities under federal civil rights laws.”

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