Douglas Administration announces cuts

first_imgSecretary Lunderville’s Letter to Legislative leaders over the failure to reach agreement on state budget cuts.Secretary Lunderville’s LetterGeneral Fund RescissionPlan #2General Fund Rescission Plan #2 NarrativeSEE ALSO BELOWkeep:AFDETA FY 2009 – resc #2 by Dept – web versionFY 2009 APPROPRIATIONS BY DEPARTMENTGeneral Fund RescissionPlan #2 12/15/08 CommentsSecretary of administration (62,123)Information and innovation (30,946)Finance and management (71,686)Libraries (29,939)Tax (65,000)Buildings and general services (33,368)Executive office (71,500)Legislative council (30,000)Legislature (180,000)Legislative information technology (5,000)Joint fiscal committee (10,000)Auditor of accounts (39,362)State treasurer (67,000)State labor relations board (16,498)VOSHA review board (2,003)Municipal tax – homeowner rebate (1,100,000)Attorney general (346,179)Vermont court diversion (45,794)Judiciary pendingMilitary (290,692)Criminal justice training council (35,146)Agriculture, food and markets (328,750)Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration (23,408)Secretary of state (132,444)Human rights commission (23,437)AHS – secretary’s office (60,000)Secretary’s office – Global Commitment (5,344,498)Office of Vermont health access (193,124)Health (155,000) further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Mental Health 0 further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Department for children and families (2,602,000)further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Disabilities, aging and independent living 0 further reductions in Global Commitment (see box)Corrections (296,514)Labor (98,427)Education department (691,870)University of Vermont (1,530,853)Vermont public television (49,097)Vermont state colleges (992,431)Vermont interactive television (66,880)Vermont student assistance corporation (766,151)ANR – central office (197,471)Fish and wildlife (393,835)Forests, parks and recreation (441,440)Environmental conservation (854,979)Natural resources board (73,366)STATE OF VERMONT – FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2GF reduction portion of GlobalCommitment flows through todepartments as follows:VDOH $ 585,970DMH $2,296,229DCF $ 276,420DAIL $2,185,879Total $5,344,498keep:AFDETA FY 2009 – resc #2 by Dept – web versionFY 2009 APPROPRIATIONS BY DEPARTMENTGeneral Fund RescissionPlan #2 12/15/08 CommentsSTATE OF VERMONT – FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2ACCD – administration (130,000)Housing and community affairs (30,000)Economic development (295,544)Tourism and marketing (180,700)Vermont council on the arts (23,919)Vermont symphony orchestra (5,363)Vermont historical society (36,313)Vermont humanities council (8,136)5% salary reduction for executive branch exempt employeeswhose annual salaries are above $60,000. (225,251)Sub-Total GF Rescission Plan #2 (18,783,437)Other fund transfers and reversions to benefit the GFFrom Prop Transfer Tax – additional 8% redux in RegionalPlanning grants ($228,872) and 50% redux in MunicipalPlanning grants ($408,700) (637,572)From Next Generation Fund (278,000)Grand Total Rescission Plan #2 (19,699,009)STATE OF VERMONT – FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 – IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 1 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 – IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.001.Secretary of administration – secretary’s officeThe Secretary’s office will reduce spending authority for Regional Marketing Plan grants by $50,000 and exhaust the vacancy savings associated with the personnel change in the Secretary of Administration position. Current year RMP obligations will be fulfilled through prior year unallocated balances that will be reverted in the budget adjustment act and given back to the program. This mitigates any negative program effects for the current fiscal year but eliminates the use of prior year funds for recipient proposals.Sec. 2.002.Information and innovation – communications and information technologyThe Department of Information and Innovation is reducing General Fund spending in its Telecommunications Broadband program by $8,709. Reductions will be made to travel and other operating expenses to meet the rescission target. The proposed cuts should not have a significant impact on the program.Sec. 2.003.Information and innovation – Vermont information technology leaders (VITL)The Department of Information and Innovation is proposing a $22,237 General Fund reduction in the Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) appropriation. This should have minimal effect since there are other funding sources available.Sec. 2.004.Finance and management – budget and managementBudget and Management will receive no appropriation reduction. Surplus cash from the VISION internal service fund will be directly applied to the General Fund to cover its allocation. This cash transfer will mitigate any negative program effects for this division.Sec. 2.009.LibrariesSavings will be achieved through: terminating the software maintenance contract with Symquest; moving Library board meetings from bimonthly to quarterly; implementing a new photocopier contract; reducing periodical subscriptions, postage & printing and reducing phone & property maintenance expenditures. These reductions increase the departments risk that operations will be less efficient if their computer system experiences any problems, and there will be fewer periodical collections available.Sec. 2.010.TaxSavings will be achieved through vacancy savings, and there should be minimal impact to the departments operations.Sec. 2.012.Buildings and general services – engineeringBGS will charge payroll expenses associated with capital projects to capital funds. This mitigates any negative impacts to the division but leaves less capital money for materials purchases. It forces the department to more strictly prioritize capital expenditures.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 2 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.013.Buildings and general services – information centersBGS will close three rest areas on Rte.89 (Highgate, Sharon-South, and Randolph-North) and one rest area on Rte. 91 (Hartford-North) on February 01, 2009. There will be minimal impact on the traveling public because of proximity to exits with full services available.Sec. 2.026.Executive office governors officeOne position will be eliminated ($21,000), vacancy savings will be increased ($47,000), and equipment purchases will be reduced ($3,500). Impact will be managed by reallocating workload.Sec. 2.028.Legislative councilSavings will be achieved through vacancy savings.Sec. 2.029.LegislatureSavings will be achieved by reducing operating expenses and personal service contracts.Sec. 2.030.Legislative information technologySavings will be achieved by reducing operating expenses.Sec. 2.031.Joint fiscal committeeSavings will be achieved through vacancy savings.Sec. 2.034.Auditor of accountsThe auditors office is planning to fund the $39,362 reduction from reduced expenditures from their internal service fund due to unanticipated savings in personal service contracts.Sec. 2.035.State treasurerAchieving these savings will require the elimination of three staff positions, based on allocation of costs to the General Fund and the time remaining in the fiscal year. The Treasurers Office plans to re-align its office structure although there will be impacts on response time to state agencies, vendors, and external customers.Sec. 2.039.State labor relations boardThe Board is using its carryforward from FY 2008 to cover the FY 2009 rescission. In addition, they have found savings such as reducing postage costs by 26% and printing costs by 56% through more use of electronic media, and insuring training costs are fully covered by participant fees for training programs.Sec. 2.040.VOSHA review boardVOSHAs $2,003 General Fund reduction results in a loss of another $2,003 in Federal Funds due to match requirements. VOSHA can backfill the reduction with carryforward for the remainder of FY 2009.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 3 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.041.Homeowner RebateThe projected program surplus will be returned to the General Fund.Sec. 2.101.Attorney generalThe Attorney Generals Office is using the balance left over from the amount of Special Funds set aside for the renovations to its office space to cover the General Fund rescission.Sec. 2.102.Vermont court diversionCourt Diversion has earned interest in the Court Diversion Special Fund; this will be used to cover this rescission amount.Sec. 2.105.JudiciaryReductions pending notification from Judiciary.Sec. 2.116.Military – administrationThe Military will reduce base budget for office supplies and travel, and will use FY 2008 General Fund carryforward.Sec. 2.117.Military – air service contractActivation of the 24/7 Alert Mission will save $100,000 in General Funds during FY 2009 due to an increase in Federal Funds participation in this program.Sec. 2.119.Military – building maintenanceThe Military has requested a replacement of $50,000 in General Funds with Federal Funds to cover utilities expenses.Sec. 2.120.Military – veterans’ affairsAn office management position with responsibility for the Veterans Cemetery in Randolph will be held vacant until the end of FY 2009 and other General Fund cemetery-related expenses will be paid for from the Special Fund/Cemetery receipts.Sec. 2.122.Criminal justice training councilThe Council will reduce contract expenses for health/stress management instruction and will look for in-house expertise to cover this block of instruction; eliminate a field training officer course by utilizing an in-state cadre of instructors; delay the train-the-trainer course; and reduce operating expenses.Sec. 2.123.Agriculture, food and markets – administrationAgriculture Administrations rescission will be accomplished through a reduction in personal services which will have some impact on services.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 4 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.124.Agriculture, food and markets – food safety and consumer protectionThis portion of the Agriculture rescission will be achieved through a reduction in personal services. The impact will be minimized by a redistribution of the workload in this division.Sec. 2.125.Agriculture, food and markets – agricultural developmentAgriculture Development will reduce personal service contracts by $30,000 and Organic Transition funding by $10,000. This will have a minor impact on services.Sec. 2.126.Agriculture, food and markets – laboratories, agricultural resource management and environmental stewardshipThis division will reduce Nutrient Management Planning Implementation grants by $148,800 and Basin Planning grants to the Vermont Association of Conservation Districts by $25,000. The division will reduce personal services to achieve the remainder of the savings. There will be an impact on services.Sec. 2.134.Banking, insurance, securities, and health care administration – health care administrationBISCHA will reduce operating expenses by $23,408 which will have a minimal impact on the delivery of services.Sec. 2.135.Secretary of stateThe Secretary of State will achieve these savings by delaying projects related to the implementation of the Vermont State Archives and Records program. This could result in the elimination of positions and will reduce the level of support to other departments within state government.Sec. 2.141.Human rights commissionReductions will be made by reducing staff hours, and reducing legal and consultant contracts, food, books and periodicals. Carryforward balances will be used to offset these reductions. Any reduction in staff hours will slow the pace of pending and future investigations and will reduce the level of services to Vermont citizens.Sec. 2.201.Agency of human services – secretary’s officeVermont Legal Aid:This rescission represents only the grant from AHS to Vermont Legal Aid and is not their entire funding base. The reduction will result in less staff time at Vermont Legal Aid, resulting in further prioritization of cases.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 5 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.202.Secretary’s office – Global CommitmentThe Global Commitment (GC) appropriation in the Secretarys office is being reduced by $5,344,498. However, the reductions flow through to other departments within the Agency; see the impact statements shown below by department.Sec. 2.206.Office of Vermont health access – administrationEliminate chiropractic coverage:Chiropractic coverage is optional under federal rules; however, the Legislature required OVHA to reinstitute reimbursement for chiropractic coverage in SFY 09. Chiropractic coverage is mandated for private health insurers in the state, and the recent legislative change put state Medicaid policies on the same footing. When the state mandate is removed, Medicaid participants would receive essential services from their primary care physician.Sec. 2.211.Health – administration and supportTele-psychiatry Pilot ProgramThis would eliminate a new program supported by a one time appropriation intended for children’s mental health services in Federally Qualified Health Centers. This initiative included a commitment by the UVM College of Medicine to use this program to enhance clinical training for child psychiatry residents and improve access to care for children and adolescents living in rural areas of Vermont.Sec. 2.216.Health – public healthImmunization Program for AdultsThis $4 million program is in its second year and was instituted as part of the Health Care Reform Act of 2007. A reduction of $1,000,000 will be absorbed by eliminating HPV vaccine for women over 18. This will preserve access to HPV vaccines for children under 18, and to adult vaccines of greatest importance to the public’s health, PPV 23, TDaP, and Hep A and B.Blueprint ProjectSavings will be realized by reductions in personal service contracts, IT and publications.” Personal Services contracts ($45,000 GC) This line item was intended for a contactor to evaluate health statistics.” IT ($31,500 GC) – Actual grant awards to communities to enhance their IT systems were lower than the budgeted amount.” Publications/Printing ($30,000 GC) The original line item was $40,000. This line item is being reduced with the expectation that there will not be any large print jobs in FY 2009.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 6 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.217.Health – alcohol and drug abuse programsStudent Assistance ProgramFunding will be eliminated to 5 schools out of a total of 101 schools budgeted in FY 2009. Grants have not yet been processed; award letters have gone out, but grant execution is not complete.Outpatient Treatment SavingsSavings are based upon FY 2009 Year-To-Date underutilization trends for outpatient grant services delivered by ADAPs Preferred Providers.Sec. 2.219.Mental health – mental healthDesignated Agency NetworkThe Department of Mental Health is proposing a 4% reduction in the current allocation to the Designated Agency Network, which will result in an 8% reduction in funding for the second half of FY 2009. This will have an impact on the delivery of mental health services. The Department has agreed to work with the Designated Agency providers to minimize the impact on the delivery of services to consumers by allowing the providers flexibility, subject to approval, on how they implement these reductions.Second Spring RecoupmentThe Residential Recovery program in Williamstown, Second Spring, had lower census in FY 2008 than budgeted in addition to vacancies in professional staff. The resulting un-needed revenue will be recouped in FY 2009. This is a one-time savings as the program has now developed to a near capacity population and will likely use all funds in this year.Adult and CRT Caseload Reduction; Projected Underutilization in Adult Services;Waiver /PNMI; and Child Residential Length of StayCurrently, the program trends are showing underutilization of services. The amounts contained in this rescission represent the savings related to the underutilization. The rescission also includes a $100,000 reduction for length-of-stay (LOS) which falls in line with current practice.Sec. 2.221.Department for children and families – administration & support servicesReduction of Operating Expenses Across the Board – To achieve the $150,000 reduction the Department will reduce expenditures in travel, supplies, and other discretionary categories.Sec. 2.222.Department for children and families – family servicesReduce Substitute Care Budget – The number of children in substitute care has decreased in the past two years, both as a result of demographics and as a result of significant practice changes. This reduction is reflective of the current trend line.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 7 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.223.Department for children and families – child developmentChild Development Grants and Contracts – These reductions of $100,000 include public outreach grants regarding child care, funding for peer support networks for child care providers, and several other small grants connected to playgroups.Non-implementation of the Child Care Fee Scale Eligibility Change – The Legislature added $852,000 to the FY 2009 budget to fund a January adjustment to the child care subsidy eligibility guidelines, moving the criteria from the Federal FY 1999 Federal Poverty Level (FPL) to the Federal FY 2000 FPL. There has been pressure from the federal government to update these criteria. This was intended to be an incremental adjustment scheduled for implementation on January 1, 2009. This adjustment will be delayed.Building Bright Futures District Directors – This will eliminate the 12 district directors by March 1, 2009. This will curtail efforts to create a unified system of care, education, and health care for Vermonts youngest citizens.Sec. 2.228.Department for children and families – reach upReach Up Grants and Support Services – Phase IReduction of $400,000 in Support Services – Each Reach Up case manager has available a pool of dollars to assist people in addressing specific barriers to employment. In Vermont, transportation is the largest barrier and consumes much of the Support Services line item. This reduction would reduce the amount of support services per client on average to $175 from $200.Reduction of $200,000 in Grants – These grants were part of the new funds allocated a couple of years ago following the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act, but they were never spent because of caseload overages. Because of the continued budget shortfall, we have not committed these dollarsReductions in Reach Up Support Services – Phase II – $300,000While the TANF caseload is up as a whole, the post secondary population is trending downward; therefore less funding is needed.Sec. 2.230.Department for children and families – office of economic opportunityIndividual Development Accounts and Micro Business Grants The Department is suspending any additional commitments to these programs; the uncommitted funds available for rescission are estimated to be $150,000.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 8 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.239.Disabilities, aging and independent living – developmental servicesDesignated Agency NetworkThe Department is proposing a 4% reduction in the current allocation to the Designated Agency Network, which will result in an 8% reduction in funding for the second half of FY 2009. This will have an impact on the delivery of developmental services. The Department has agreed to work with the Designated Agency providers to minimize the impact on the delivery of services to consumers by allowing the providers flexibility, subject to approval, on how they implement these reductions.Sec. 2.244.Corrections- correctional servicesThe 48 bed increase at Northern State Correctional Facility, and the accompanying reduction in out of state bed use (Sec. 2.245) will have a net savings of $177,845. The consolidation of smaller district probation and parole field offices includes the elimination of two anticipated vacant positions. There should be minor impact on services.Sec. 2.245.Corrections – correctional services- out-of state-bedsSee explanation above (Sec.2.244).Sec. 2.302.Labor – programs$20,000 of General Fund savings is due to vacancy turnover and operating efficiencies within the Wage & Hour program. There are no negative program impacts from these savings.$8,000 of General Fund savings will be distributed as modest grant reductions to each of the 12 Workforce Investment Boards. The WIBs will mitigate any negative impacts through the use of prior year unobligated cash balances.$70,427 will come from decreasing the number of Workforce Employment & Training grants. This will result in approximately 100 less people receiving services. Businesses are reluctant to train new employees given the current economic environment hence most of the WET Funds are not being used or are being returned by employers.Sec. 2.305.Education – finance and administrationThe department will reduce miscellaneous operating expenses by $12,439 and manage to the money by reducing employee meetings, travel and supplies, etc.Sec. 2.306.Education – education servicesThe department will reduce miscellaneous operating expenses and manage to the money by reducing employee meetings, travel and supplies, etc. Administrative savings will come from internalizing the Teacher Quality Initiative within the department and adding Maine to the multi-state NECAP agreement. Furthermore, the department will receive a refund from the NECAP program due to increased economies in the testing program. Further General Fund savings will come from shifting payroll costs onto various Special Funds &STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 9 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Federal Funds and the residual vacancy savings associated with the Commissioner position. Early Education Initiative grants will be reduced 3.8% statewide leading to an approximate $1,151 reduction per service provider. The grants for students competing in national competitions will be eliminated. The remaining funding will come from a cash transfer from the Conference Fee Special Fund.Sec. 2.309.Education – adult education and literacyThe $102,229 reduction will come from a decrease in statewide activities such as program marketing. Administrative and local Adult Education & Literacy positions may be reduced resulting in a loss of capacity to serve students. This would cause the program to develop or extend waiting lists for services.Sec. 2.321.University of Vermont50% of the Universitys General Fund reduction will be distributed across academic and administrative units, 25% will be allocated to the medical school and 25% will be allocated to the Extension program & Agriculture Related Services. These entities will be required to manage to the reductions via reduced operating expenses, prior year surpluses, vacancy savings, etc. A portion of the 50% reduction will come from student financial aid but that amount will be minimized to the greatest extent possible.Sec. 2.322.University of Vermont- Morgan Horse FarmThe University has requested that this appropriation be eliminated. The Morgan Horse Farm can easily absorb this reduction given a recent private donation for over $1 million.Sec. 2.323.Vermont public televisionThe hiring freeze from the last rescission will include the previously exempted grant writer position. This will negatively impact VPTs revenues. New episodes of local based programming will be frozen and fewer live-on-location broadcasts will be feasible. This may lead to a reduction in viewers as programming becomes stale. As VPT loses its viewer base it simultaneously loses its fundraising base thereby putting future revenues from such activities at risk. Overtime will be restricted to technical emergencies and travel expenditures will be reduced.Sec. 2.324.Vermont state collegesThe General Fund reduction will be spread across the five colleges and the Chancellors office with savings based upon each entitys institutional priorities. In general, VSC will look to eliminate the renewal of temporary employment contracts, hold open unfilled positions, reallocate workloads, reduce reserves, use prior year unobligated surpluses, defer or cancel purchases, place a moratorium on all travel, and reduce energy costs.Sec. 2.325Vermont state colleges – allied healthIn general, VSC will look to eliminate the renewal of temporary employment contracts, hold open unfilled positions, reallocate workloads, reduce reserves, use prior year unobligated surpluses, defer or cancel purchases, place a moratorium on all travel and reduce energy costs.STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 10 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08Sec. 2.326.Vermont interactive televisionVIT will reduce part-time staff by 33%, equipment repair by 5% and increase its sales revenue by 5% in order to absorb the rescission reduction. This increases the risk that services will be negatively impacted should equipment malfunctions occur or staff is unavailable during demanded hours. Increasing sales revenue will be difficult given the risk that services may not be available.Sec. 2.327.Vermont student assistance corporationThis rescission will result in approximately 9,000 Vermont students receiving less in second semester VSAC incentive grants than they were originally awarded. Revised award letters will be issued to the grant recipients and affected students will have a payable balance at their school equal to the grant reduction.Sec. 2.401.Agency of natural resources – administrationANRs Central Office will reduce four positions and hold another vacant ($125,000). A contract with UVM to evaluate opportunities for carbon offsets will be reduced ($60,471); research to date has not shown strong prospects for carbon offsets.Sec. 2.402.Connecticut river watershed advisory commissionANR will reduce the grant to the Connecticut River Joint Commissions to the FY 2007 level (a reduction of $12,000). The grantee should seek an alternate grant from the Fish and Wildlife watershed grant program.Sec. 2.406.Fish and wildlife – support and field servicesThe Department will make the following reductions: contracts for land management assistance ($25,500); wildlife temporary employees doing data collection and assistance to private landowners ($34,890); one-time infrastructure maintenance delay in hatcheries ($26,800); one-time delay upgrading fish sampling equipment ($23,200); law enforcement vehicle purchases ($75,000); warden overtime ($30,745); travel ($40,000); maintain two vacant warden positions ($124,310); adjustment to fuel cost at hatcheries ($10,390); and printing ($3,000).Sec. 2.408.Forests, parks and recreation – administrationThe Department is returning a fleet vehicle expected to generate savings of $3,259.Sec. 2.409.Forests, parks and recreation – forestryRescission amount includes the elimination of the recognition dinner at the annual fire warden meetings ($10,000). A Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Public Service will provide $5,000 for a Fuel Use Survey. Forestry will leverage F&W Federal Funds by performing work requested by F&W ($80,000).Sec. 2.410.Forests, parks and recreation – state parksParks will reduce seasonal maintenance employees ($16,667), advertising work will be brought in-house ($10,000), specific known timber sales revenue will be used ($150,000),STATE OF VERMONT FY 2009 RESCISSION PLAN #2 IMPACT NARRATIVEReleased 12/15/08Department of Finance & Management Page 11 of 12WORD:keep:FY 2009 rescission plan #2 IMPACTS – Final 12-15-08parks rules-based fees will be increased to compensate for inflation ($75,000), and one-time funds will be used ($35,000).Sec. 2.411.Forests, parks and recreation – lands administrationMileage on fleet vehicle will be reduced ($500). The survey section will access one-time alternative sources for reimbursement, and tap federal legacy project funding ($20,000).Sec. 2.413.Forests, parks and recreation – forest highway maintenanceParks Forest Highway work will be deferred ($36,014).Sec. 2.414.Environmental conservation – management and support servicesThe Department will eliminate four filled positions ($54,369); this will require reprioritization and realignment of duties, but core program needs will continue to be met.Sec. 2.415.Environmental conservation – air and waste managementThe Department will eliminate two vacant positions ($55,671); this will require reprioritization and realignment of duties, but core program needs will continue to be met.Sec. 2.416.Environmental conservation – office of water programsThe Department will eliminate six vacant positions ($334,596) and filled positions will be reduced by one ($3,343). This will require reprioritization and realignment of duties, but core program needs will continue to be met. A reduction to general operating expenses ($20,000) and a reduction in pass-through agreements will also be made ($57,000).ANR – DECCarryforward from a one-time appropriation to develop electronic permitting capacity (2007Act 65 Sec. 274(a)(1)(B)) will be reduced by $330,000. This system has achieved some of its core goals and deferral of continuing this work has less impact than other possible reductions within the agency.Sec. 2.418.Natural resources boardThe Natural Resources Board will relast_img read more

Verizon Wireless expands 3G wireless network in Vergennes

first_imgVerizon Wireless,To continue to stay ahead of rising demand for wireless voice, 3G multimedia and Internet access in Addison County, Vermont, Verizon Wireless has expanded its local network. New cell site provides increased wireless voice and 3G data coverage for the town of Vergennes and portions of Route 7 and Route 22A, as well as the surrounding area.Source: Verizon Wireless. VERGENNES, Vt.–(BUSINESS WIRE)-last_img

Court approves Vermont attorney general’s $55,000 HIPAA settlement with Health Net

first_imgJudge William K Sessions has approved Attorney General William Sorrell’s proposed settlement with Health Net, Inc., and Health Net of the Northeast, Inc., regarding the health insurance company’s loss of an unencrypted portable hard drive containing protected health information. The State’s complaint alleged violations of HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), Vermont’s Security Breach Notice Act, and Consumer Fraud Act. The settlement approved by the court on Friday requires the defendants to pay $55,000 to the State, submit to a data-security audit, and file reports with the State regarding the company’s information security programs for the next two years.The lawsuit is Vermont’s first enforcement action under the Security Breach Notice Act and the second HIPAA enforcement action of its kind since state attorneys general were given HIPAA enforcement authority in 2009. The case arises from a portable hard drive that contained protected health information, social security numbers, and financial information of approximately 1.5 million people, including 525 Vermonters. Health Net discovered that the drive was missing on May 14, 2009 and did not start notifying affected Vermont residents until more than six month later. When it did notify Vermont residents, Health Net told them that it believed their risk of harm was ‘low’ because ‘the files on the missing drive were not saved in a format that can be easily accessible.’ The files on the unencrypted drive were in TIF (Tagged Image File) format, which can be viewed using a variety of freely available software.Health Net, Inc., and Health Net of the Northeast, Inc., cooperated with the Vermont Attorney General’s investigation of this matter and have settled similar actions in Connecticut and New York. January 26, 2011last_img read more

Bernard Boutin, 88, former president of Saint Michael’s College and Burlington Savings Bank

first_imgThe obituary notice follows: Bernard L. BoutinMeredith. NH—–Bernard L. Boutin, 88, of 77 Barnard Ridge Road, Meredith died at the Lakes Region General Hospital, Laconia, NH on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. Mr. Boutin was born July 2, 1923 in Belmont, N.H., the son of Joseph L. and Annie E. (LaFlam) Boutin.  He was a longtime resident of  the Lakes Region  and had attended the Belmont  public schools and was Senior Class Valedictorian.  He attended The Catholic University of America in Washington, D. C. from 1942-1943 and  graduated  Ph. B (Cum Laude) and Valedictorian from St. Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont in 1945.  In 1963, he received an honorary degree, LLD,  from St. Michael’s College.  He received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Franklin Pierce College, Rindge, N.H. in 1969 and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Plymouth State College of the University of New Hampshire in 1970.  Mr. Boutin was a partner of the Boutin Real Estate Company from 1945-1963, President and Treasurer of the Boutin Insurance Agency, Inc. from 1945-1963 and Partner of the Busy Corner Store from 1956-1959.Mr. Boutin served two terms as Mayor, City of Laconia, from 1955-1959.  He was the Democratic Nominee for Governor of New Hampshire in 1958 and 1960 and was in charge of the John F. Kennedy Campaign for President in the 1960 NH Primary.  From 1956-1960 he was a member of the Democratic National Committee.  Mr. Boutin was appointed by President Kennedy as Deputy Administrator, General Services Administration, Jan. 1961 to November 1961 and then was appointed by President Kennedy as Administrator, General Services Administration, Washington, D.C., Nov. 1961 to December 1964. In 1964, he was co-coordinator of Johnson for President for New England States and New York.  From 1964-1965, Mr. Boutin was Executive Vice President of the National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.  In 1964, he was co-chair, with Gregory Peck,  of one of the Presidential Inaugural Balls, Washington, D.C.  In 1965 & 1966, President Johnson appointed Mr. Boutin as Deputy Director, The Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, D.C. and then appointed Mr. Boutin as Administrator, Small Business Administration, Washington, D.C. from 1966-1967.From 1967-1969, Mr. Boutin was Director, Corporate Information Services and member of the President’s staff of Sanders Associates, Inc., Nashua, N.H. and was consultant to the company from 1969-1976.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Indian Head National Bank, Nashua, N.H. from 1967-1969, a member-at-large of the, National Advisory Council, Small Business Administration in 1968 & 1969 as well as a member of the Resources Panel (consultant) of the American Bankers Association. He was also a member of the N.H. Coordinating Board of  Advanced Education and Accreditation and Chairman of the New Hampshire State Board of Education in 1968 and 1969. Mr. Boutin was a Representative to the Board of Governors, Catholic University of America  from 1968-1973.  From 1970-1975,he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Vermont  Federal Savings & Loan and from 1972-1974 he was a member of the Vermont Commission on Higher Education Facilities.   Mr. Boutin was on the Board of Directors, National Council of Independent Colleges and Universities from 1970-1974.From 1970-1972, Mr. Boutin was on the Board of Directors of HI-G Inc., Windsor Locks, Connecticut and was on the Board of Directors of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corp. from 1969-1974.  He was a member of the National Highway Safety Advisory Committee, U. S. Dept. of Transportation in 1969 & 1970, appointed by  President  Johnson.Mr. Boutin was President of St. Michael’s College, Colchester, Vermont from March 1969 to November 1974.   He was Executive Vice President of the Burlington Savings Bank from May 1975 to August 1976, President of the Burlington Savings Bank, Burlington, Vermont, from August 1976 to October 1980 and on the Board of Directors, First Deposit National Bank of San Francisco from September 1991 to January 1994.Mr. Boutin served on several committees including The First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capital, The President’s Committee for Equal Employment Opportunity, the Cabinet Committee on the National Stockpile, The President’s Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, The President’s ad hoc Committee on Disposal of Surplus Federal Land, the President’s ad hoc Committee on the Architecture for Federal Buildings and Government Office Space, the President’s Advisory Council on the Arts, the President’s Committee on Rural Poverty and the Vermont Private Schools Study Committee.Mr. Boutin had been a Minister of the Eucharist since 1983 and in 1992, he was named by Pope John-Paul  a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.Mr. Boutin was a former member, Board of Directors, of the Hillsborough County Community Action Committee, a former director of the American Standards Association, NYC, Past President of the New Hampshire Municipal Association, former chairman of the Laconia Airport Authority, former National Director and State President of St. Michael’s College Alumni Association, former Vice president of the Laconia Chamber of Commerce, former director of both the Laconia and Burlington Rotary Clubs, a former trustee of Laconia Hospital, past Exalted Ruler of the Laconia Lodge of Elks #876, former member of the Government Advisory Council and American Management Association, a former member of the American Society for Public Administration, a former trustee of St. Michael’s College, a former member of the International Platform Association, former director of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce, consultant, National Council of Catholic Men, 1967-1975, former member of the Fanny Allen Hospital Associates, Board of Governors, The Medical Center Hospital of Vermont from 1973-1980, Trustee, Medical Center Hospital of Vermont 1975-1980, Treasurer, 1977-1980, Chairman and Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council, 1975-1978, member of the Board of Rice Memorial High School from 1976-1978, member of the Ethan Allen Club, Burlington, Vermont   from 1975-1980, trustee of the Vermont Foundation of Independent Colleges, Inc., 1976-80 and a former member of the Finance Committee, Trinity College, Burlington, Vermont.Mr. Boutin was the recipient of many awards including the Award of Excellence for Outstanding and Meritorious Service to the Home Building Industry of America by the Crestline Manufacturing Company in 1966, Top Performer Award in the Field of Housing, House and Home Magazine, in 1966, Outstanding Service as Administrator of General Services Administration, Contracting Plaster and Lather International Association in 1965, Certificate of Appreciation, Mississippi Conference NAACP in 1965, Distinguished Service Medal, General Services Administration, 1964, Commendation, the President’s Committee on Employment of the Physically Handicapped in 1964, Alumni Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Government, The Catholic University of America in 1963, the Award for Outstanding Achievement, St. Michael’s College Alumni Association, 1959, the Certificate of Commendation, the National Guard, 1957, the Policyholders Good Citizenship Award, the Mutual Trust Life Ins .Co. in 1969 and the Eastern USA Outstanding Service Award, the National Council of Independent Colleges and Universities  1974, the Delta Epsilon Sigma and National Honor Society.  In 2002, Mr. Boutin was inaugurated into the first class of the Saint Michael’s College Academic  Hall of Fame. Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Alice M. (Boucher) Boutin, of  Meredith; six sons, Edmund J. and LindaAnne Boutin of Chester, N.H., Joseph L. and Dale  Boutin of Burlington, Vermont, Louis B. and Carole Boutin of Bedford, N.H., John P. Winooski, Vermont, Paul R. Judy Boutin of Colchester, Vermont and Bernard L. and Gay Boutin II of Fremont, N.H.; five daughters, Bernadette  A. and Bruce Fischer of Colchester, Vermont, Michelle A. and Dennis Lamper of Meredith, N.H., Marie J. Boutin of South Burlington, Vermont, Elizabeth J. and John McGrath of Manchester, Vermont and Suzanne T.  Boutin of Rochester, N.H.; twenty-three grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; thirteen great grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; and four nephews and two nieces.  In addition to his parents, Mr. Boutin was predeceased by two sisters, June Fitzpatrick and Lorraine Morin.  Calling hours will be held at the Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services on 164 Pleasant St., Laconia, N.H. on Monday, August 29 from 4-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11am on Tuesday August 30 at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 300 NH Route 25, Meredith, NH by the Very Reverend  Dennis J.  Audet, V.F., Pastor of the Church. Burial will be at the family lot in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Garfield St., Laconia, N.H. at 3pm. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to the Boutin Family Scholarship Fund at Saint Michael College or to the Building Fund at St. Charles Borromeo Church. Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, N.H. is assisting the family with the arrangements.  For more information and to view an online memorial go to is external). Bernard Boutin passed away in Laconia, New Hampshire, on the evening of August 24, 2011.  He was born in Laconia on July 2, and died peacefully after a short illness during which his family was constantly with him.            Mr. Boutin was a well known New Hampshire native and was prominent in national affairs throughout the 1960’s.  He was a valedictorian graduate of Saint Michael’s College, Class of 1945 and Mayor of Laconia from 1955 to 1959. In 1958 and 1960 Mr. Boutin was New Hampshire’s Democratic nominee for Governor. In 1959 and 1960, he was heavily involved in the primary and general election campaign of President John F. Kennedy, with whom he had a close relationship.             Shortly after President Kennedy’s election, Mr. Boutin was named Deputy Administrator of the General Services Administration, one of the largest federal agencies, and became its administrator from 1961 until 1964.  After leaving the government for a short period, President Johnson appointed Mr. Boutin to be Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, a newly created federal agency, and then as Administrator of the Small Business Administration.  One of Mr. Boutin’s proudest accomplishments was the redesign and reconstruction of Lafayette Square across from the White House, a project that he worked personally with the President and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy.  Among other positions, Mr. Boutin also served on the President’s Advisory Council on the Arts and the First Lady’s Committee for a More Beautiful Capitol.            Mr. Boutin’s career also included the Presidency of Saint Michael’s College from 1969 to 1974, a period where he is credited with stabilizing the college financially, bringing it to co-education and building its endowment.  Boutin retired in 1980 after serving as CEO of Vermont’s largest bank.  He was active after his retirement as an outside Director of several publicly held corporations.             Outside of his professional career, Mr. Boutin devoted his life to service.  He served on boards of medical facilities, educational institutions, business development organizations, and Catholic charities and committees.  Mr. Boutin was also an advocate for the handicapped and for the preservation of historic sites and the reclamation of surplus federal lands.            Boutin is survived by his 11 children and by his loving wife Alice (Boucher) to whom he was married for 67 years.  last_img read more

WSJ: U.S. Coal Sector Faces Reckoning

first_imgFull article ($): U.S. Coal Sector Faces Reckoning What isn’t sustainable are the publicly traded coal powers built atop the recent China-driven commodity boom, and the corporate structures—headquarters, salaries, pensions—they maintained. FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享John W. Miller for the Wall Street Journal:Peabody Energy Corp. warned Wednesday that it could go bankrupt, signaling the end of an era for listed U.S. corporate coal companies, even as their mines continue to fuel a big chunk of the country’s power stations.A chapter 11 filing by St. Louis-based Peabody, the U.S.’s largest coal miner, would be the latest in a wave of bankruptcies to hit top American coal producers, including Arch Coal Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, Inc., Patriot Coal Corp. and Walter Energy, Inc.U.S. coal miners are wrestling with high debt levels, low energy prices, new environmental regulations, the decline of steel production, and the conversion of coal-fired power plants to use natural gas made abundant by shale drilling.The industry’s troubles come amid a larger political debate over the future of coal that has flared up in the presidential contest. Most Democrats, concerned about the effects of burning fossil fuels on the environment, advocate a switch to cleaner energy sources, while Republicans decry job losses in the coal sector that they predict would come from policies cutting carbon emissions. The industry’s setbacks have been especially damaging in the coal strongholds of Wyoming and Appalachia.To be sure, this isn’t the end for coal. Just under one- third of the U.S. grid is still powered by coal, and hundreds of mines are still profitable and operating.center_img WSJ: U.S. Coal Sector Faces Reckoninglast_img read more

Tax Reform May Slow Renewable Deals in U.S.

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Bloomberg:PosiGen Inc. was close to finalizing terms on a $100 million financing deal. Then Congress passed President Donald Trump’s tax-reform plan.“We just lost $100 million in tax equity last week,” Thomas Neyhart, chief executive officer of the Louisiana rooftop solar installer, said in an interview.PosiGen is one of many companies that are suddenly facing a new financing reality because of the tax overhaul, especially clean-energy developers seeking tax-equity deals. At least $3 billion in potential deals are on hold for this type of financing, according to John Marciano, a Washington-based partner at law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Some investors have exited or are sidelined, while others are considering repricing their transactions.Tax equity is a critical but esoteric source of renewables financing—totaling about $12.2 billion in 2016, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. There were about 35 tax-equity investors last year, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. While solar and wind projects are typically eligible for federal tax credits, many don’t owe enough to the government to take full advantage. Instead, they turn to banks, insurance companies and some big technology firms that monetize the credits through tax-equity investments.Because the law reduced the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, companies will have fewer liabilities and therefore less need to find ways to reduce their bills. Further, there are provisions in the law that may constrain some multinational companies’ ability to do deals.The result: a market that’s poised to “tighten,” said John Eber, a Chicago-based managing director at JPMorgan, on a webinar Thursday hosted by law firm Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. Tax-equity investors that remain in the renewables market might “moderate” their contributions, he said. More: How Trump’s Tax Plan Made It Harder to Finance Renewables Tax Reform May Slow Renewable Deals in U.S.last_img read more

American Electric Power reaffirms plans to cut coal generation, increase renewables

first_imgAmerican Electric Power reaffirms plans to cut coal generation, increase renewables FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Daily Energy Insider:American Electric Power (AEP) is planning to close coal plants and increase capital investments in renewables to balance its portfolio and reduce risk, AEP Chairman, President and CEO Nicholas Akins said at the Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference held this week in San Francisco.The company plans to invest $33 billion in capital from 2019 through 2023. AEP expects to invest about $16.6 billion in its transmission businesses and another $8.3 billion in its distribution businesses over the next five years.The planned investments involve $2.7 billion for new clean energy generation, which include $2.2 billion for competitive, contracted renewable projects. In regard to contracted renewables, the company focuses on opportunities that are longer tenure, credit-worthy counterparties and mostly electric utilities, Akins said during a presentation to investors.The company plans to invest $1 billion in regulated fossil fuel and hydro generation and $500 million in nuclear generation through 2023. The company is moving from approximately 65 percent coal to 38-40 percent coal. Akins noted that the company’s portfolio will likely continue to include some coal into the future.“That’s really a focus of the de-risking that’s occurred relative primarily to fossil generation and moving toward a more balanced portfolio with the advent of not only natural gas but renewables, energy storage, other technologies that we’re primed to be able to take advantage of,” Akins said.More: AEP aims to reduce risk by increasing renewable investments, closing coal plantslast_img read more

Debt woes threaten Australia’s newest coal-fired power plant

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Australian:One of the major owners of the Bluewaters Power Station, Sumitomo, is understood to have hired restructuring firm Houlihan Lokey as a debt repayment deadline approaches for the asset, which owes $400m.Houlihan Lokey, which counts Australian restructuring expert Jim McKnight in its ranks, is now one of a raft of advisers around the situation.McGrath Nicol is working with the lenders, along with law firm G+T, while Japanese bank MUFG is working as the financial adviser to the Bluewaters company. Law firm Clayton Utz is also working for Sumitomo.Debt is due in August, and the challenge will be finding funding at a time that banks are shying away from coal-fired power stations.The power station, 4.5km northeast of Collie in Western Australia, was built by Griffin Energy in 2009. Owners include 50 per cent shareholder Sumitomo of Japan and Japanese power utility Kansai Electric. It has generation capacity of about 430 megawatts.Some observers say the owners may have to stump up equity to ensure it continues to operate.[Bridget Carter]More: Debt deadline nearing for Bluewaters owner Sumitomo Debt woes threaten Australia’s newest coal-fired power plantlast_img read more

Capital Dynamics, Tenaska join forces to develop 2GW of battery storage in California

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Tech:Asset management firm Capital Dynamics has signed a deal with Nebraskan independent power producer Tenaska to develop nine battery energy storage system (BESS) projects located in California’s highest electrical load centres.The BESS projects will be designed to deliver power resources to manage high-demand conditions caused by heat waves, supply shortages and growing local power supply deficiencies in the Bay Area, Los Angeles and San Diego areas that cannot be reliably served solely by intermittent renewables, the companies said.Struck through Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure business, the deal will see enable the provision of approximately 2GW of clean energy through the nine projects into the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) market.Benoit Allehaut, managing director of the Clean Energy Infrastructure team, said California is poised for “significant growth” in energy storage demand as a result of its “robust” clean energy goals. Indeed, the state announced plans in March to add 25GW of renewables by 2030. “We are excited to join with Tenaska to build high-quality battery energy storage facilities to help integrate renewables and reinforce CAISO grid reliability and resilience,” said Allehaut. “We hope to quickly contract resource adequacy with utilities and CCAs to grow this portfolio.”The move builds on other partnerships between Capital Dynamics and Tenaska. Last month, they agreed to develop 24 solar projects totaling 4.8GW, following on from a previous collaboration for 14 PV projects with approximately 2GW in the US Midwest.[Jules Scully]More: Capital Dynamics and Tenaska partner for 2GW of battery storage in California Capital Dynamics, Tenaska join forces to develop 2GW of battery storage in Californialast_img read more

Australia’s ANZ bank to exit coal lending business by 2030

first_imgAustralia’s ANZ bank to exit coal lending business by 2030 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Argus Media:Australian bank ANZ will exit all lending to companies with exposure to thermal coal either through extraction or power plants by 2030, as part of its new lending criteria to support the 2015 Paris climate agreement target of net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050.ANZ, which is one of four banks that dominate the banking sector in Australia, will no longer finance any firms that have more than 10pc of their total revenue from thermal coal activities, the bank said.The Melbourne-based bank will only lend to renewable projects and low-carbon gas projects by 2030 and will discuss with its customers that have more than 50pc of their revenue from thermal coal about diversification strategies by 2025. “We will cap limits to customers that do not meet this expectation and reduce our exposure over time,” ANZ said.The tightening of the lending criteria to the thermal coal industry follows ANZ’s previous stance unveiled last year of lending only to new customers that have less than 50pc of their revenue from thermal coal and not financing the construction of any new conventional coal-fired power plants. It also marks a shift from when the bank first unveiled its thermal coal lending policy in 2015, when it said it would consider financing new coal-fired power stations only if advanced technology and higher-quality thermal coal were used.ANZ was the last of Australia’s four largest banks to commit to exiting lending to thermal coal activities, with fellow Australian bank Westpac pledging to neither lend money nor invest in the thermal coal mining industry from 2030.Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of thermal coal. The sector faces more headwinds now that Australia’s four largest banks will no longer lend for new thermal coal mine developments or expansions of existing mines. Australia’s three largest coal customers have also all committed to net-zero emissions by 2050 for Japan and South Korea and 2060 for China. These three countries took around three-quarters of Australia’s thermal coal exports in calendar 2019.[Kevin Morrison]More: Australian bank ANZ to exit all coal lending by 2030last_img read more