Legislators use cuts, taxes, rainy day fund to balance budget

first_imgLegislative leaders announced today that they had put together a package of tax increases, budget cuts and some of the state’s “rainy day” funds to offset a $100 million General Fund budget deficit.Speaker Smith and Senate President Pro Tem Shumlin called it a responsible approach to balancing the budget. The proposal is made up of a $26 million revenue package, $71 million worth of reductions and $3.3 million of rainy day funds. By eliminating the capital gains and income tax deductions loophole, the revenue package reduces Vermonters income taxes by lowering the marginal tax rates.  The full passage of this package will result in lower incomes taxes for the vast majority of Vermonters and would drop Vermont s top marginal rate from first to fifth nationally.  We have proposed a thoughtful package that reduces Vermonter s income taxes at a time when they need the relief more than ever, said Senator Shumlin.The proposal also includes an additional $46 million of reductions, on top of the $25 million that the Senate proposed earlier this year. These reductions include a $19.8 million reduction in the General Fund transfer to the Education Fund and $26.5 million of additional reductions to various state services. The reductions to services are incredibly hard to make but these very difficult times call for very difficult decisions to be made, said Speaker Smith.The legislative leaders said they have been involved in productive conversations with the Douglas Administration over the past several days and remain open to further discussions.  The leaders put forward their balanced proposal today in order to continue to move forward and meet their adjournment schedule.  The budget and miscellaneous tax conference committees will begin their work on this proposal this afternoon.Budget Closing Construct:Adjusting for the Revenue downgrade:I. FY 2009 Shortfall: $14.7 milliona) Use carry forward which was to be held for FY 2010 $11.7 millionb) Use Caseload Reserve or other receipts $ 3.0 millionII. FY 2010 Deficit before revenues: $75.7 millionConsists ofa) Additional revenue downgrade: $34.3 millionb) Less property transfer tax to GF $ 3.6 millionc) Less FY 2009 carry forward $11.7 milliond) Senate revenue package $26.1 millionIII. FY 2010 Closing Constructa) Revenues (built on House/Senate agreed items) $26.1 million[Misc. Tax conference committee]b) Further reductions above Senate Appropriations bill $26.5 millionIncludes:1. No funding for Human Resources IT project unlesscovered in capital bill ($4.5 million)2. $6 million for economic development reducedto $4.5 million ($1.5 million)[Appropriations Conference Committee]c) Reduction in GF transfer to Ed Fund $19.8 million& Related Ed. Fund adjustments:1. Education payment reduced to 2.1% growth2. Non residential tax rate at $1.36d) Caseload reserve or other budget reductions $ 3.3 million- TAX PROPOSAL ATTACHEDSource: Senate President’s Office AttachmentSize Final May Tax Proposal.pdf13.52 KBlast_img read more

Men’s marijuana use increases miscarriage risk for women, new research finds

first_imgABC News 14 October 2019Family First Comment: More reasons to avoid drugs…“When men smoke marijuana once a week or more, their partners are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage when pregnant, according to Boston University researchers who examined over 1,400 couples before they got pregnant… Smoking marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and the change in sperm quality may drive the increased occurrence of miscarriage.”New research is highlighting the role men play in infertility and miscarriage.When men smoke marijuana once a week or more, their partners are twice as likely to experience a miscarriage when pregnant, according to Boston University researchers who examined over 1,400 couples before they got pregnant.The researches asked the couples about marijuana usage over the past two months and then followed them as they got pregnant and, in some cases, miscarried.The majority of men in the study did not smoke marijuana, with only 8% smoking once a week or more. Nearly 18% of the couples in the study reported a miscarriage.Smoking, but less frequently than once a week, did not have an association with miscarriage rate, according to the research.One reason for the increased risk of miscarriage with male marijuana use, according to researchers, is that smoking marijuana may negatively affect sperm quality and the change in sperm quality may drive the increased occurrence of miscarriage.READ MORE: https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Wellness/mens-marijuana-increases-miscarriage-risk-women-research-finds/story?id=66257753last_img read more

Alpena Community College Unveils UAS Mobile Command Unit

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisACC just got a new upgrade…The community college just unveiled it’s new UAS Mobile Command Unit.Here’s that story.It’s a van equipped with computers, heat, air, electricity, but what exactly is the catch? Friday ACC unveiled its new UAS Mobile Command Unit that will allow staff, students, and community members to use and fly drones remotely. The new technology will allow users to go out and use a drone as a tool that will be beneficial for years to come.“We look at drones as tools, and tools are nothing new we always see new tools come but this is a high technology tool. How does it affect new students and jobs? Well part of working in any job is working with tools. For example the utility technician students that’s going to be a new tool that you will probably see in all utility tech folks using in the very near future. Being able to have a license and being able to legally authorize and understand and operate a drone and to inspect power lines is just one example,” Dawson said.With the new unit, users will be able to map and navigate. The unit will allow search and rescues for emergency teams; take images of accidents, and other important things for other industries. Students taking the new course will be able to gain a pilot license and become certified. Another unique feature in the unit is the battery life.“One of the deal breakers in drones is the battery life. The battery life only lasts up to 20 to 40 minutes. This is going to allow us to have an arsenal of batteries and be able to recharge batteries as necessary so we can go out and do real missions. Missions that just don’t 20 minutes. Missions that take two days perhaps or 8 hours or whatever that is, we can do that now,” Stone said.The new mobile unit cost over $150,000. There are 4 large drone platforms, and they all do different things. There are also small hobby drones that teach eye movement, which is key to learn before advancing on to bigger drones. Thanks to grants ACC is on to a brighter future when it comes to technology.For WBKB News in Alpena, I’m Star Connor.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: ACC, alpena community college, Drones, Technology, UAS Mobile Command UnitContinue ReadingPrevious Students of FIRST Robotics Brainstorm for Upcoming Steamworks ChallengeNext Alpena High School to Hold ‘Early College Program’ Meeting for Students and Parents, Wednesdaylast_img read more