Monday, May 20 2013 10:29 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:29:03 GMT
Now more than a month after the Boston Bombings, Burlington police are giving us a glimpse at their plans and the changes they've made for the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday. Burlington police say, inMore >>
Now more than a month after the Boston Bombings, Burlington police are giving us a glimpse at their plans and the changes they've made for the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:53 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:53:56 GMT
Burlington City Councilor Vince Brennan will be running in the Vermont City Marathon and is also using it as a fundraiser. He has started a online campaign to raise money for the One Fund Boston, whichMore >>
Burlington City Councilor Vince Brennan will be running in the Vermont City Marathon and is also using it as a fundraiser.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 9:08 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:08:20 GMT
On a quiet, Morristown, Vermont street, police say a neighborhood feud went too far. The owner of 80 George Street says he and the people in 75 never got along. "Ever since they moved in, they've justMore >>
We're beginning to learn more about a feud between neighbors that almost turned deadly. Four people have been arrested, two charged with attempted murder.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 7:12 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:12:36 GMT
He could spend 15 years in prison, for taking a joy ride on a school bus. The man accused of taking the wild ride faced a judge today. The 22 year old from Newport, Adam page pleaded not guilty to allMore >>
He could spend 15 years in prison, for taking a joy ride on a school bus. The man accused of taking the wild ride faced a judge today.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 7:01 PM EDT2013-05-20 23:01:55 GMT
Call it death with dignity or physician assisted suicide, Monday Vermont became the first state to pass legislation, and the fourth state in total, allowing the hotly debated end of life choice. "I thankMore >>
How hospitals can develop protocols for the new law and whether or not they can in the first place.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 6:48 PM EDT2013-05-20 22:48:44 GMT
Vermont governor Peter Shumlin signed the so-called "death with dignity bill" into law. But at the end of a long battle Vermonters now have a choice about ending their life given specific circumstances.More >>
There are limitations to using the new patient end of life choice.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 3:24 PM EDT2013-05-20 19:24:58 GMT
Last week, the Morristown Police Department investigated an intentionally set fire on George Street in Morristown, Vt.Police say the fire was set to a residence that was occupied by 4 adults and 2 childrenMore >>
Last week, the Morristown Police Department investigated an intentionally set fire on George Street in Morristown, Vt.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 2:00 PM EDT2013-05-20 18:00:22 GMT
The Burlington Police Department released security information for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon Monday. A press release says various law enforcement from multiple agencies at the federal, state,More >>
The Burlington Police Department released security information for the KeyBank Vermont City Marathon Monday.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 1:27 PM EDT2013-05-20 17:27:55 GMT
Green Mountain Power and NRG Residential Solar Solutions have signed an agreement to pilot a central solar lease program in Rutland, Vt.A press release says the agreement includes the development ofMore >>
Green Mountain Power and NRG Residential Solar Solutions have signed an agreement to pilot a central solar lease program in Rutland, Vt.More >>
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -
Jennifer Spash hung outside at her Plattsburgh apartment Thursday.
The college student is happy to have a place, but with an $8-dollar an hour job it's not easy to keep.
"This is my first apartment and traveling to work to school and then paying for college bills," said Spash.
Help may be coming.
Empire State lawmakers are close to passing a budget, one that would increase the minimum wage.
Right now it's $7.25 an hour.
If passed, it would go to $8-dollars even by 2014, $8.75 by 2015 and in three years it would be $9-dollars.
"I mean an extra dollar isn't too much but it will help out a little bit with rent and stuff," said Spash.
While some people like the idea of getting paid more some small business owners say that doesn't mean your check will be going up.
"I think what we're going to find is more employers, small business employers will work just a little bit more. Maybe not have that 1 or 2 extra shifts per week," said Champlain Wine Company co-owner Colin Reed.
Colin Reed co-owns the Champlain Wine Company in Plattsburgh.
He has three employees that already make $8-dollars an hour.
But he says if New York increases their pay more, it will make it harder for owners like him to keep hiring.
"I'm more concerned like I said with the young people that are really having a hard time finding work these days," said Reed.
Although there's a chance Spash could see her hours reduced, she hopes this measure goes through so that life can be a bit more affordable for folks like her.
'I think that it would be enough," said Spash.
We reached out to North Country leaders to get their thoughts.
Both State Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey say they have concerns over raising the minimum wage, but they're glad to see a phased in plan.
The budget is expected to be voted on this weekend.
Some budget highlights:
A Balanced, On-time Budget that Invests in Creating Jobs and Cuts Taxes: The Budget closes a $1.3 billion gap with no new taxes or fees. New York State has not had three consecutive on-time or early budgets since 1984 and has not had a budget on track to pass this far before the April 1 deadline since 1976.
Cutting Taxes for Middle Class Families: Recognizing that New York's taxpayers have been overtaxed for too long, the Budget includes $1.125 billion in new tax cuts to middle class families over three years. Families with incomes between $40,000 and $300,000 will be eligible to receive a new child tax credit of $350 per year for three years, beginning in 2014.
Tax Cuts for Small Businesses: To provide tax relief to New York's job creators, the Budget includes nearly $800 million in tax relief for New York businesses over three years. With this tax relief, the Budget recognizes that cutting taxes sends a positive sign to the private sector that New York is pro-business and helps reverse New York's longstanding reputation as the tax capital of the nation.
Hiring Tax Credits: To help New York's returning soldiers and young people find work, the Budget includes a permanent tax credit for the hiring of Veterans, and $181 million in tax credits over three years for businesses that hire youth.
Reducing Costs and Red Tape for Businesses: To reduce the crushing burden of unemployment insurance and workers' compensation, the Budget modernizes and simplifies both systems to provide employers $1.3 billion in savings without affecting workers' benefits.
Investing in the Economy of Tomorrow: The Budget provides the initial funding to launch the Innovation Hot Spots program that will create or designate ten high-tech innovation incubators at locations affiliated with higher education institutions to encourage private-sector growth; a $50 million Innovation Venture Capital Fund that will provide critical seed and early-stage funding to incentive new business formation and growth in New York State and facilitate the transition from ideas and research to marketable products.
Workforce Training for Job Openings: New York's workforce training is from a different era and a generic job training program does not fit today's economy. The Budget capitalizes on the opportunity of an estimated 210,000 unfilled jobs in the state by including $5 million for the Next Generation Job Linkage Program that works with employers to: identify the job; define the skill; and provide the training for it.
Protecting the Environment and Creating Green Jobs: The Budget increases support for the Environmental Protection Fund and the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, to launch new projects across the state that both create green jobs and protect New York's natural environment.
Building on the Success of the Regional Councils: The Budget includes a third round of the Regional Economic Development Councils including $150 million in new funding and $70 million in tax credits.
Promoting Upstate Tourism and Agriculture through Market NY: To bolster tourism and better market NY-made foods and produce, the Budget launches the Market NY initiative.
SUNY and CUNY Campuses Driving Private Sector Job Creation: The Budget includes a third round of the SUNY 2020 program and launches the CUNY 2020 program to provide competitive grants for projects that connect economic development and academic excellence. ($110 million)
Education Investments and Reforms
Increasing Funding for Education: The Budget reflects New York State's focus on creating a world-class education system that will fully prepare all of New York's students to compete in the 21st Century economy. To accomplish the goal, the Budget includes an increase of nearly $1 billion in education aid.
Pre-kindergarten Program Expansion: Recognizing that quality early education is critical for long-term success and that children who attend full-day pre-k often outperform their peers, the Budget provides additional investments in pre-kindergarten with an emphasis on high quality, full-day pre-k. Funding is targeted toward higher need students in lower wealth school districts via a competitive process. ($25 million)
State Increases Tied to Teacher Evaluations: To maintain New York State's leadership in holding teachers accountable for student achievement, the Budget continues to tie increases in funding for education to the implementation of a teacher evaluation system. No teacher evaluations means no state increase.
Extended Learning Time: Our existing education calendar is still based on an agrarian system and the United States lags behind other nations in terms of how much time students spend in the classroom. In order to provide increased learning opportunities, the Budget supports high-quality extended school day or extended school year programs, with academically enriched programming. Schools that apply to participate in the program must agree to expand learning time by 25 percent. The state will cover the full cost of expanding learning time for students. ($20 million)
Community Schools: Recognizing that a school is not just a "school" in distressed communities and that the demands of schools in wealthier districts are different than demands in lowest wealth districts, the Budget supports an innovative program designed to transform schools into community hubs that integrate social, health and other services, as well as after-school programming to support students and their families. ($15 million)
Reward High-Performing Teachers: To improve results and incentive high-performance, the Budget implements a program that will offer $15,000 in annual stipends for four years to the most effective teachers beginning with math and science teachers. ($11 million)
Early College High School Programs: To improve college access and success, the Budget provides new state funding to expand Early College High School programs. ($4 million)
Bar Exam for Teachers: To ensure the best and brightest are teaching our children, the State Education Department will increase the standards for teacher certification to require passage of a "bar exam," in addition to longer, more intensive and high-quality student-teaching experience in a school setting.
Other Budget and Legislative Actions:
Lowering and Phasing Out the 18-a Utility Assessment: The Temporary Utility Assessment on electric, gas, water and steam utilities would be phased out over three years beginning in 2014-15.
Pension Stabilization Program: The Budget includes a Pension Stabilization Program that has been agreed to by the State Comptroller's Office for local governments to access short term relief as the savings of Tier VI begin to take effect.
Public Service Commission Reform: The Budget includes a number of reforms that were recommended by the Moreland Commission to give the Public Service Commission greater authority over the state's utilities.