News & Updates
June 14, 2013
VPIRG Environmental Health Advocate, Lauren Hierl, joined Governor Shumlin, legislators, and fire fighters to celebrate toxic flame retardant ban at the fire station in Burlington.
Read Lauren’s address made at the bill signing:
“I’m thrilled to join today’s celebration as Governor Shumlin signs into law the nation’s strongest bill to protect kids and fire fighters from toxic and unnecessary flame retardant chemicals. I’d like to thank the Governor and legislators – including, among others, Senators John Campbell, Claire Ayer, Ginny Lyons, Kevin Mullin, Representatives Shap Smith, Willem Jewett, Ann Pugh and Jill Krowinski – for their leadership in enacting this important public health legislation.…
June 14, 2013
Next week the Green Mountain Care Board will be deciding if they will approve the proposed rates for health insurance plans to be offered on Vermont Health Connect next year, and they will be taking comments until 5:00pm Monday June 17th. Comment now!
Vermont Health Connect is the new online marketplace where small businesses (50 or fewer employees) and individuals in Vermont will buy their health insurance starting in October 2013 for coverage in 2014. Earlier this spring both Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont and MVP filed their proposed rates for 2014.…
May 23, 2013
Vermont’s ground breaking denied claims disclosure law has been making a lot of news lately. Last year VPIRG worked to pass one of the nation’s strongest disclosure requirements for denied claims and non health related spending. Earlier this year Falko Schilling, VPIRG’s Consumer Protection Advocate, presented our initial findings to the House Health Care Committee. The Numbers showed that Cigna, the state’s only for profit insurer, had the highest claims denial rate at 21% followed by MVP (16.3%), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont (7.6%), and the Vermont Health Plan (5.3%).…
May 20, 2013
Heating efficiency programs save energy and money, while reducing global warming pollution. But it takes money to save money, and in order to meet the statewide goal of weatherizing 80,000 (or one in four) Vermont homes by 2020, we need a serious investment of public dollars.
Lawmakers, pressured by fossil fuel interests and Super PAC lobbying, failed to step up and make these investments. However, VPIRG did successfully back improvements to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which could bring in additional dollars to help Vermonters weatherize their homes.…
May 20, 2013
The legislative session is over, and the results are in. Here at VPIRG, we’re celebrating the victories that our members helped to bring about. Thank you!
Of course, we didn’t win every fight. The Legislature failed to commit the necessary resources to weatherize our homes and businesses, for example. But we’re taking the time to celebrate the wins, reflect on the losses, and get to work building the grassroots support to carry us forward again, next year!…
May 15, 2013
The VPIRG-backed legislation that passed in the final hours of the 2013 legislative session will make it easier for consumers to hold insurers accountable when they try to raise your rates.
Under the new law, consumers can sign up to receive notifications when their insurer is planning to hike rates, and can have their voices heard before the increase goes in to effect. The bill also includes other changes to the states rate review program that will make it easier for the Green Mountain Care Board to ensure any rate hike is justified before allowing it to go into effect. Vermont’s rate review program will now closely mirror a program put in place in Oregon which has saved consumers over $80 million dollars since 2010.…
May 14, 2013
Despite the near-unanimous agreement at the beginning of the legislative session that this would be the year to pass meaningful reforms to Vermont’s campaign finance law, legislators declared the issue dead for the year.
May 10, 2013
Today the House of Representatives passed H.112 , this year’s GMO labeling law, by a vote of 99-42! This is the furthest any such legislation has made it through the legislative process in the US. It was clear that hearing from Vermonters like you that gave them the courage to lead the nation on this important issue.
May 8, 2013
In the jam-packed final days of the legislative session, the House of Representatives carved out time to pass the nation’s strongest bill to protect children and fire fighters from unnecessary and harmful flame retardant chemicals (S.81, vote:141-0) by banning their use in childrens products and home furniture.
May 8, 2013
The House Judiciary Committee voted 7-4 to pass H.112, the Vermont GMO labeling bill. The bill will now go to the full House of Representatives where a full vote is expected later this week. If the bill passes out of committee it will be the furthest a comprehensive GMO labeling bill has advanced in any state legislature. With the legislature slated to end their session later this week the bill will be in a great position to be taken up in the Senate when lawmakers return to their work in January.