News & Updates
January 8, 2013
Late last week, Vermont’s health benefits exchange plan was approved by the federal government. This means that Vermont with join nineteen other states who have been given the green light to proceed with implementing their insurance exchanges. The state will now move full steam ahead in creating the Vermont Health Connect web portal, where individuals and small businesses will compare and purchase health insurance starting in January 2014.
Federal health care reform protects consumers, provides funds to build our health technology infrastructure, and expands access to care for millions of Americans. Along with these benefits, reform also presents a unique challenge to people currently on the popular Catamount and VHAP programs.…
January 4, 2013
In December VPIRG sent an update to its members letting them know about a proposed 15% rate increase by MVP Health Care on their individually insured consumers. Not only was MVP asking for a 15% increase, but they proposed to use approximately a third of patient’s premium dollars to pay for administrative expenses and profits. We asked you to submit your comments to the Green Mountain Care Board, and you did. The board reviewed the request as well as consumer comments and decided MVP’s proposal was unreasonable, and required them to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on actual care, as opposed to the70% they were proposing.…
January 2, 2013
For Immediate Release: January 2, 2013
MONTPELIER, VT – Today President Obama will sign into law a bill that extends key tax credits for wind power and averts the ‘fiscal cliff.’ The main federal incentives for wind power – the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the offshore wind Investment Tax Credit (ITC) – expired on December 31, 2012, but with today’s new law will now be available for wind power projects that start construction over the next year, allowing for continued growth of wind energy in Vermont and across the country.…
December 20, 2012
VPIRG is mourning the loss of a true environmental champion – Joan Mulhern. Many Vermonters became familiar with Joan during her years as an advocate for VPIRG during the late 1980s and early 1990s. In fact, she was hired by VPIRG in 1985 to run our first summer canvass.
December 11, 2012
The Bottle Bill is Vermont’s most successful recycling program, achieving more than double the recycling rate of any other program in the state. Over the past 40 years, the number of containers that have been recycled through the Bottle Bill they would fill the Empire State Building more than 3 times over.
VPIRG will be fighting hard during the upcoming legislative session to expand the Bottle Bill to include all types of beverage containers, not just beer and soda.…
November 29, 2012
Inspired by the work of Bill McKibben and 350.org, and in response to the overwhelming devastation brought on by global warming as highlighted by Super Storm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene, VPIRG has officially begun a campaign aimed at divesting the Vermont State Pension Funds from fossil fuel companies.
Working in collaboration with student groups such as UVM’s Vermont Student Climate Culture (VSCC), the overall goal of the campaign is to see Vermont’s investments at both the collegiate and pension levels, no longer contributing to the atmospheric destruction brought on by fossil fuel companies such as BP, Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell, of which the Vermont State Pension Fund currently has invested $6,790,119 in collectively.…
November 29, 2012
Three months after a plan to switch much of Montpelier’s downtown from oil to wood heat got a new lease on life, the Montpelier City Council cast a final vote on the project last night. Up for debate was whether to pump the extra heat from an upgraded wood fired boiler run by the state to Montpelier’s municipal buildings and local businesses. The City Council’s decision to build the full project rather than a shorter line that wouldn’t reach the business district or municipal buildings was well received by the attending crowd.
November 27, 2012
Here at VPIRG, we understand that rising health care costs are taking their toll on family budgets, with no end in sight. However, we are lucky enough to live in a state that allows us to do something about it.
The process is called rate review, and Vermont’s rate review program is one of the best in the country, allowing both regulators and consumers to have a say about rising insurance costs before they’re put in to place.…
November 27, 2012
In August, the Montpelier City Council approved an initial leg of the District Heat project while getting bids for remaining connections, which would include Union Elementary School and City Hall. Since then, city staff members are hard at work enlisting business customers needed to make this renewable heating project work even better. On Wednesday, November 28th, the City Council will decide how extensive a project to approve and need to hear from you right away!
MONTPELIER CITY COUNCIL DISTRICT MAP WITH CONTACTS: Two City Councilors, Anne Watson (District 2) and Angela Timpone (District 3), are already strong supporters of the full district heat project. The four councilors listed on this map need to hear from their constituents!…
November 20, 2012
As we head into the holiday shopping season, dangerous toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to VPIRG’s 27th annual Trouble in Toyland report. VPIRG released a new report revealing the results of laboratory testing on toys for toxic chemicals including lead and phthalates, both of which have harmful health impacts on the development of young children.