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Janus Forum Debate at UVM Davis Center- Nuclear Energy

The Janus Forum at UVM is hosting a debate on the future of nuclear power. The date is Monday, February  8 at 4:00pm at the Davis Center. (Thanks to Ethan Allen Institute for this item).

With so much interest and the swirl of facts and assertions, myth and reality surrounding nuclear energy in the nation's energy mix, here's an opportunity to learn more about the issue.

See attachment below for details.

February Unemployment Insurance Hearings Scheduled in Rutland & Burlington

(Thanks to Vermont Chamber of Commerce for this item)

The Senate Economic Development Committee has scheduled two hearings on the state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to hear from Vermont businesses about the impact proposed changes would have on employers. The first hearing will take place on Wednesday, February 3 from 9 am to Noon in the Board of Alderman Chamber, City Hall, in Rutland.
The second hearing will take place on Thursday, February 4 from 9 am to Noon at Contois Auditorium in Burlington.

Small Business Owner Tells Legislative Business/Jobs Forum - Make it Easier to Do Business in Vermont

Gordon Winters, owner of Swanton Lumber, presented his views about Vermont's business climate and the  issues he faces as a small business owner to a Legislative Business/Jobs forum at the Statehouse on January 21, 2010. We could not have said it better! (used with permission)

January 21, 2010

Senator Shumlin, Speaker Smith and distinguished legislators, thank you for allowing me to speak with you today.

I am the owner of Swanton Lumber Company and two ACE Hardware stores that employ 30 Vermonters. My third hardware store is under construction, and when it opens this
spring, I expect to hire 10 more people. As a lifelong Vermonter there is no place I would rather grow my business than Vermont because I know what a unique place it is.

Gov. Douglas Proposes a Realistic Budget for 2011

VEH - Douglas Budget Proposal

Warning! Prepare for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Why?
Governor Douglas has proposed a balanced budget for Vermont that will
eliminate a $150 Million budget shortfall for Fiscal Year 2011. Why the
wailing? He proposes to cut $53 Million from the Agency of Human
Services and to accept the Treasurer's pension and post-retirement
healthcare benefit proposals. In addition, the Governor also proposes
to shift the cost of teacher pensions and benefits to the Education
Fund (where it belongs) from the General Fund. In addition, Gov.
Douglas proposes to roll back the tax increases the Legislature enacted
last year when overriding his veto of the Legislature's budget.

At VEH we support these proposals as a reasonable approach for legislative
consideration. Balancing the budget is of paramount importance and Gov.

John McClaughry and Paul Cillo Debate Vermont's Budget Deficit

I recommend this Seven Days ( January 13-20, 2010) article by Ken Picard. With good questions and salient responses, it's well worth your time to understand the issues that form the debate in Montpelier this session as the Legislature wrestles to close the $150 Million deficit for FY 2011.

It's clear that Cillo (Public Assets Institute) advocates raising taxes as well as cutting expenses while McClaughry (Ethan Allen Institute) believes it's high time for a structural overhaul of what government actually does and the services it provides.

The link to the interview:

Financial Impact of Closing Vermont Yankee

Closing Vermont Yankee is a very bad idea. For the Legislature to do so on emotional or ideological grounds is the epitomy of irrational public ploicy.

Willem Post, an engineer with the time and talent to examine the economics of closing Vermont Yankee, offers a rational economic analysis for relicensing Vermont's cleanest and least espensive source of baseload electricity.  The "top line" reality for closing VY and replacing it with other 'renewable' sources in Vermont would be very costly to Vermont electric ratepayers. He summarizes: