vermont

Recent Posts

Story-Video-Podcast: Galbraith brings progressive agenda

Play

Listen to Peter Galbraith discuss the issues:

MONTPELIER — Peter Galbraith is running for governor with a progressive agenda shaped by his experiences overseas and from the experiences of his parents. The 65-year-old Democrat from Townsend has unveiled an unapologetically progressive platform, calling for, in part, a $15 per hour minimum wage, a ban on corporate campaign contributions and continuing down the path toward a publicly financed, universal health care system. Those ideas, and his quest for social and economic justice, stem from the values he learned from his parents and his experiences as a diplomat in war-torn areas. “From both of my parents come the values that I have and really a sense that we can have a more just society, that public goods like education, the arts, the environment, are things to be valued,” he said. Galbraith’s mother was a fourth generation Vermonter whose life was “shaped by the great events of the 20th century,” Galbraith said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Story-Video-Podcast: Brock sees Vermont’s future in niche industries

Play

Podcast: Hear Randy Brock discuss the issues

MONTPELIER — Randy Brock believes the future of Vermont is bright if it can attract and nurture new niche business industries that provide revenue and ease the tax burden on residents. Brock, 72, a former Franklin County senator and state auditor, is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. That should be easy — he faces no primary challenger. The real test for Brock will come in November when he faces one of three Democrats seeking their party’s nomination. The longtime Swanton resident has plenty of experience campaigning. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Capitol Beat podcast for Jan. 5, 2015

Play

Capitol Beat Podcast – Episode 1
Vermont Press Bureau Chief Neal Goswami and VPB reporter Josh O’Gorman preview the upcoming legislative session from the gubernatorial election to sleeper issues. A new episode will be posted every Monday afternoon, as well as a separate podcast featuring Gov. Peter Shumlin every Friday afternoon.  

Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , ,

Milne launches TV ad

MONTPELIER — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne has launched his first television commercial as the primary approaches next week. The ad, which will be running on WPTZ, Fox 44/ABC 22 and WCAX through the primary, features footage from Milne’s campaign kickoff event last month in Barre. Former Republican Gov. James Douglas is prominently featured, calling Milne the next governor of Vermont. “Internally, I think sort of the campaign family, we’re stoked about it. I think it’s very, very good and I’m appreciative of all the support from Gov. Douglas,” Milne said Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Another exchange deadline to be missed

MONTPELIER — Change of circumstance functionality expected to go live this weekend on Vermont Health Connect will not be deployed as testing continues, according to Department of Vermont Health Access Commissioner Mark Larson. The state’s vendor, CGI, was supposed to have the change of circumstance function live on the health insurance exchange website by May 21 based on an amendment to the original contract. But the state reached an agreement on a revised work plan to extend the deadline to June 8. Now there is a new delay. “We’re making very good progress on the development of the functionality and we’re close with automated change of circumstance functionality, but have made the decision that it’s not ready to go this weekend into the live environment,” Larson said Friday. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Lisman declines gov bid

MONTPELIER — Campaign for Vermont founder and former Wall Street executive Bruce Lisman announced Wednesday he will not launch a bid to unseat Gov. Peter Shumlin. Lisman, the former chairman of the JP Morgan Chase Global Equity Division, said he was considering a campaign for governor at the urging of Vermonters. But in a statement issued Wednesday Lisman said he will instead focus on advocacy efforts. “I love Vermont and believe that she faces serious challenges as seldom before in her history,” Lisman said in his statement. “At this time, however, I believe I can best contribute to improving Vermont’s future by publicly and vigorously advocating for a focused, core set of moderate, nonpartisan and common sense government reforms. Indeed, this coalition building effort is the best approach to policy change and consistent with my focus since 2011.”

Wednesday’s announcement follows on the heals of one made by Stowe Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, who just last week said she would not seek the GOP gubernatorial nomination and challenge Shumlin, a two-term Democrat. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Another exchange deadline missed, but state extends timeframe

MONTPELIER — A function missing from Vermont’s online health insurance marketplace will not be added by today’s deadline, but state officials say they are giving the contractor additional time to complete the project before they look to impose penalties. Under an amended contract signed in early April, tech giant CGI was required to deliver “change of circumstance” functionality by today. The upgrade would allow thousands of Vermonters to edit their personal information online if mistakes are made during registration, or if they experience a life-changing event such as marriage. But progress remains slow, and the function remains in testing, according to Mark Larson, commissioner of the Department of Vermont Health Access. “We will not have the change of circumstances functionality tomorrow,” Larson said Tuesday. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Online payments go live on state exchange

MONTPELIER — The state’s online health insurance marketplace is now accepting payment online for premiums, the Shumlin administration announced Monday. Individual Vermonters enrolling in insurance plans on Vermont Health Connect, the online marketplace mandated under the federal Affordable Care Act, can now pay for monthly premiums online, according to the Department of Vermont Health Access. The site underwent an upgrade over the weekend, officials said. Small businesses will continue to enroll directly through the state’s two insurers — Blue Cross Blue Shield and MVP Health Care. The payment system will now allow Vermonters to pay premiums with a debit card, credit card or direct deposit from a bank account in addition to paper checks. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

GOP leaders seek federal investigation into exchange

MONTPELIER — Republican leaders in the Legislature are seeking a federal investigation into Vermont Health Connect based on an anonymous tip that a state contractor duped state officials last year. House Minority Leader Don Turner of Milton and Senate Minority Leader Joe Benning of Caledonia County sent a letter Wednesday to Tristram Coffin, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont, requesting the investigation. The request is based on “whistleblower allegations alleging a fraudulent software demonstration on July 26, 2013 by CGI Technologies & Solutions.”

Newsweek published an article earlier this month in which an anonymous source said a demonstration by CGI last July designed to show connectivity with the state’s online insurance marketplace with a federal data hub was faked. The exchange site, for which CGI has an $84 million contract to build, is still not fully functional, the GOP leaders wrote in their letter. “We believe the unexplained and extensive delay, coupled with evidence suggesting the company in charge of designing the system may have duped Vermont officials into incorrectly thinking that the software system was working and on schedule, constitutes sufficient legal and factual predicate to begin a federal investigation,” they wrote. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Christie fundraiser sells out

MONTPELIER — The Vermont GOP’s Welcome Winter Gala featuring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has sold out, according to a party official. Brent Burns, the state GOP’s political director, wrote to supporters Monday with the news. Party officials “have been absolutely overwhelmed by the excitement it has generated among Vermonters across the political spectrum,” he wrote. The event, set for Dec. 11 at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex, is being hosted by Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Stowe Rep. Heidi Scheuermann. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,