News & Updates
March 21, 2013
To celebrate the first anniversary of “Vermont Energy Independence Day,” a coalition of environmental organizations – including 350 Vermont, Citizens Awareness Network, Conservation Law Foundation, Sierra Club – Vermont Chapter, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Vermont Public Interest Research Group, and Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance – joined citizen activists to advocate on the following platform of bills.
March 20, 2013
One law is helping Vermont take huge strides toward a more transparent health care system, where insurance companies are held accountable for denying legitimate claims, and for spending your premium dollars on advertising and lobbying, not on health care.
Thanks to a bill thought up, researched, drafted, advocated for, and supported by VPIRG and its members, data on the number and type of claims insurers deny–as well as spending on non-health care items, like lobbyists and marketing—is now available online for all Vermonters. Thousands of individuals and small businesses will have access to meaningful information that will help them make informed choices when it comes to their insurance company.…
March 20, 2013
Just a few weeks ago Bill McKibben told our legislators - the issue on which we will all be judged 50 years hence is how quickly and how boldly we moved to address the greatest challenge humans have ever faced.
This Thursday, March 21st – “Energy Independence Day” – is your chance to ensure your legislators follow through on Bill McKibben’s call to act quickly and boldly to end our dependence on dirty and dangerous energy sources. Click here to view the Vermont Energy Independence Day Platform.…
March 19, 2013
With your help NOW, we can still stop S.30, a bill designed to stop the development of clean, renewable energy projects in Vermont. If S.30 is passed, it will give preferential treatment to dirty energy generated by coal, gas, oil, hydro and nuclear facilities over renewable power proposed right here in Vermont. Even community-scale solar and wind facilities will be subject to the local and regional bans allowed under the bill. Meanwhile, the giant power lines necessary to bring in dirty energy from outside the state will be exempt from any new restrictions.…
March 18, 2013
It’s time to ramp up the grassroots action! Let’s show our legislature and our Governor that there has never been a better to time to stand up for Vermont and protect the interests of its citizens. Let’s make 2013 the year we pass a GMO labeling law in Vermont!
Last month, VT Right to Know visited White River Junction, Brattleboro, Montpelier, Middlebury, and Burlington to speak to crowds of concerned citizens about GMO Labeling. Almost 6000 Vermonters have signed the petition to require labels on GMO’s and hundreds have contacted their legislators.…
March 18, 2013
Early Victory on Health Insurance Rate Review:
Last week, the Senate Finance Committee passed a strong bill that makes the process of approving health insurer rates more efficient and transparent. The bill gives the Green Mountain Care Board the sole authority to approve, deny, or modify health insurance rates and creates a shorter and more predictable timeline for action on proposed rate increases.
Another key provision of the bill will make it much easier for consumers to find out when their insurer wants to raise rates.…
March 15, 2013
When the Senate Government Operations Committee initially contemplated dramatically raising the contribution limits to candidates and political action committees, VPIRG organized a response that also included the LWV-VT and Ben Cohen. After threatening to oppose the bill, the committee reconsidered its position and ended up with limits much closer to those VPIRG suggested.
The limits are much more sensible and, when combined with the much improved disclosure provisions in the bill make it worthy of support.…
March 15, 2013
For Immediate Release: March 15, 2013
Montpelier, VT – The Senate Health & Welfare Committee voted (4-0) on Friday morning to pass S.81, a bill that protects families and firefighters from toxic and unnecessary flame retardant chemicals.
“VPIRG applauds the Health & Welfare Committee for this decisive vote in favor of public health,” said Lauren Hierl, environmental health advocate at VPIRG. “Chlorinated Tris, one of the target chemicals in the bill, was actually banned from children’s pajamas in the 1970s because it’s such a potent cancer-causer. It’s hard to believe that we’re still having to fight – 35 years later – to remove this toxic chemical from nursing pillows, home furniture and other commonly used consumer products.”
Furniture and numerous baby products have high quantities of flame retardant chemicals like chlorinated Tris, which leach into the air and dust in our homes and into our bodies.…
March 14, 2013
Last week, Governor Shumlin made the news with some remarks about his concerns around H.112, this year’s GMO-labeling legislation. In particular, he was concerned with the potential for a lawsuit by out-of-state interests once the bill is passed.
In a recent Times Argus opinion piece, Right to Know advocates Andrea Stander, Dave Rogers, and Falko Schilling set the record straight, clarifying some of the finer points of the legislation. In particular, the article emphasizes the hard work done by Vermont’s House Agriculture Committee in refining the legal findings of the bill and the differences between this year’s bill and the 1994 legislation on milk that caused much of the confusion.…
March 14, 2013
Legislation that would make it more difficult to build renewable energy projects in Vermont could make it to the floor of the Senate for a vote next week. Groups interested in preserving the state’s natural resources and promoting cleaner alternatives to polluting fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources expressed their opposition to S.30 today, and urged senators to vote against the bill unless it is revamped substantially.