Capitol Beat: State Revenue Figures Continue to Rise | Local News

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The state continued to increase its revenue – a trend in recent months.

Last month, revenue for the state’s general fund, transportation fund and education fund in December totaled $241.4 million, 0.8% above consensus monthly expectations.

Cumulative revenue remains 2.6% above consensus expectations for the state’s first half of the fiscal year, according to a state press release on Monday.

General Fund revenue collected for the month totaled $165.9 million, or $1.8 million above the consensus monthly revenue target. For the six-month period, General Fund income was $855.8 million, exceeding its target of $29 million or 3.5%.

Revenues this month were boosted by strong personal income taxes and helped by a positive increase in taxes on meals and rooms, which more than offset the slight lag in taxes on corporate income. The Transportation Fund was slightly below consensus expectations for December, bringing in $22.6 million versus the consensus estimate of $23.8 million.

The Education Fund was $1.3 million or 2.5% above the consensus monthly target, having raised $52.9 million for the month. For the first half of the fiscal year, the Ed Fund received $336.7 million, which is $6.5 million or 2.0% above the consensus target.

“We are pleased with the results for the half-year revenue compared to the consensus forecast,” Secretary of Administration Kristin Clouser said, “but we remain cautious about the impacts of COVID on the economy and will carefully watch for signs. potential for change”.

Last week, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled two limited edition bobbleheads of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, commemorating a pair of memorable Sanders moments. The new bobbleheads have come out to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Bernie Sanders’ Inauguration Day Mittens viral moment. The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum released a bobblehead commemorating the moment hours after Sanders went viral at the January 20, 2021 inauguration.

The Bernie Bird Podium Bobblehead commemorates the viral moment from Bernie’s 2016 campaign. During a rally at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon on March 25, Sanders was interrupted mid-speech when a small bird perched on the podium in front of him as the crowd responded with thunderous applause. The moment later became a viral sensation with the hashtag #BirdieSanders. The bobblehead features a flabbergasted Sanders standing behind a podium and microphone with his arms in the air. He looks at the bird.

Plus, a year after Sanders wore these mitts on Inauguration Day, they’re making a big difference in the lives of children in Vermont with serious illnesses.

The photo of the senator wearing mittens handmade by Vermont schoolteacher Jenn Ellis has gone viral.

It has been turned into humorous memes and GIFs shared around the world. Vermont Teddy Bear partnered with the teacher who created the now-iconic mittens and began making and selling them. Vermont Teddy Bear and creator Ellis have pledged to donate 5% of profits to Make-A-Wish Vermont.

Make-A-Wish Vermont announced that it has raised over $30,000 from the sale of Bernie’s mitts, which will fund three wishes.

Governor Phil Scott and Secretary of Administration Kristin Clouser announced three key appointments to the Administration Agency.

Catherine Delneo was appointed State Librarian; Justin Kenney as Performance Director; and Nikki Fuller Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources.

Delneo brings over 25 years of library services experience to the role of State Librarian, most recently as Branch Manager at the San Francisco Public Library, leading a team of over 400 people. .

Delneo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Vassar College and a Masters in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. Delneo will begin his new role on February 13.

Kenney served as interim CPO for the state for the past seven months, transitioning from his role as director of continuous improvement and planning. In this role, he worked alongside the former CPO to provide statewide training, consultation and support as part of the Governor’s program to improve Vermont’s results together.

Kenney graduated from the University of Vermont in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Prior to working for the State of Vermont, he held several positions with the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps and served as District Director for the Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District.

Kenney’s appointment took effect Jan. 16.

Fuller is a seasoned human resources professional and attorney from Vermont with more than two decades of public service experience. She has extensive experience in labor and employment law. She has held several positions within the Burlington School District, including as executive director of human resources and in-house counsel. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the core functions of human resources, workforce management and supporting the superintendent in creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive work environment. Fuller also spent nearly 12 years advising the city of Burlington on employment and labor matters as an assistant city attorney. Currently, she is the owner and senior consultant of an HR and DEI consulting firm.

Fuller began serving on Monday.

Forty-two Democratic, Progressive and Independent lawmakers introduced a groundbreaking bill last week that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of drugs.

“As Vermont grapples with a severe overdose crisis, relentless racial bias in our criminal justice system, and the high cost of incarceration for taxpayers, we must ask ourselves if a system that criminalizes individuals for nonviolent drug possession for personal use makes sense or advances our goals involving pressing issues of public health and racial justice,” said Rep. Logan Nicoll, co-lead sponsor of H.644.

H.644 is inspired by a law enacted in Oregon that decriminalized possession of small amounts of drugs and redirected resources to treatment and other public health models to address substance use disorders of drugs and substances.

If passed, H.644: Would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of drugs for personal use; establish a treatment referral system through which Vermonters who need help with substance use disorders can access treatment services; establish a committee of drug policy experts to determine appropriate personal use thresholds for each drug; and create a financial incentive for people with substance use disorders to participate in health needs screening.

President Joe Biden announced last week that he had named John Roberts as executive director of the Vermont Farm Service Agency.

U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy had recommended Roberts for the job.

FSA staff assist farmers with loans and insurance programs such as the Dairy Margin Hedging Program, while obtaining organic certification, accessing conservation and environmental programs, and managing their business .

Roberts is currently Executive Director of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, a farmer-led organization that works on environmental practices on farms and supports Vermont’s agricultural economy.

Born and raised in England, Roberts came to Vermont to work with the famous Brown Swiss dairy herd at Shelburne Farms in his twenties and decided to stay. Roberts operated a small dairy with his wife in Cornwall.

The Vermont House and Senate Appropriations Committees will hold two public hearings on the Governor’s Recommended Budget for Fiscal Year 2023 on Tuesday, February 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.; and Wednesday, February 9 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. via videoconferencing technology.

Anyone interested in testifying must register before the hearings via one of the online forms no later than 5 p.m. on February 7.

Governor Phil Scott has proclaimed Jan. 23-29 “Vermont School Choice Week,” recognizing the critical role K-12 educational choice plays in the lives of children, parents, and parents. teachers across the state, a news release said.

This is the fifth year in a row that School Choice Week has been officially proclaimed. The governor’s proclamation coincides with the 12th National School Choice Week, a public outreach effort that raises awareness of options and opportunities in K-12 education. Across the country, more than 30 governors issued proclamations in a bipartisan rally in support of the Week.

Vermont parents, schools and other organizers have planned 45 of more than 26,000 events planned across the country to celebrate School Choice Week. These range from school pep rallies and open houses to home activities and virtual contests.

The governor announced his nomination of Matthew Walker, of Swanton, to the Vermont House of Representatives, representing the Franklin-4 House District. Walker replaces former Rep. Brian Savage R-Swanton, who resigned last month.

Walker and his wife PattiJo own and operate Vermont Clothing Company & JC Image, a screen printing, embroidery and graphic design business with nine employees. Prior to that, he was Director of International Transportation for AN Deringer, Inc.

Walker was born in Rutland and raised in Brandon, and graduated from the University of Vermont. An active member of his community, Walker has been coaching youth baseball and basketball for over a decade and is in his third year as head coach of the Missisquoi Valley Union men’s varsity basketball team. Highschool.

Money for housing difficulties

Governor Phil Scott and the Department of Housing and Community Development announced that the Homeowner Assistance Program, which will help Vermont homeowners facing pandemic hardship, is accepting applications.

The program, funded by $50 million from the US Federal Bailout Act, will provide grants of up to $30,000 per household for late mortgage payments, utility bills, property taxes and real estate association fees.

The HAP is managed by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and is expected to last several years to help reduce the long-term risk of foreclosure and loss of housing.

“As we move forward in our recovery, my administration is making housing a top priority,” the governor said. “In addition to supporting homeless people and building new homes, we must also work to keep Vermonters in their homes, to stabilize neighborhoods and keep our communities healthy. This program offers another tool to help accomplish this.

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