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The State House in Montpelier. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/Vermont_State_House.jpg">GearedBull</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
The State House in Montpelier. Photo: GearedBull, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont solons seek faster wage hikes than Shumlin

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- A fight could be brewing between Vermont lawmakers and the Shumlin administration over how fast to move to a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has pushed for moving to that wage in three steps and getting there in 2017. A House Committee on Tuesday voted to support a bill that would bring about a $10.10 per hour wage next January, with inflationary increases thereafter.  Go to full article
Director Werner Herzog in Brussels. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/91/Werner_Herzog_Bruxelles_03.jpg">Erinc Salor</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Director Werner Herzog in Brussels. Photo: Erinc Salor, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Students show films inspired by Herzog's footage

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- University of Vermont film students who got a chance to collaborate with award-winning director Werner Herzog will be showing their films in Burlington.

The free event takes place Wednesday night at 6:30 at the Burlington City Arts Center.  Go to full article
Photo via Vermont Health Connect
Photo via Vermont Health Connect

Vermont urged health sign ups through deadline

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- More Vermonters were signing up for health insurance right down to the wire.

The Department of Vermont Health Access said that as of Monday morning about 46,800 Vermonters had enrolled in a plan directly through Vermont Health Connect, including about 2,600 over the weekend.

Officials say the figure does not include tens of thousands of Vermonters covered by an employer who enrolled in a Vermont Health Connect plan directly through an insurance carrier.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/59707291@N03/13430127905/">Jennifer Kenny</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Jennifer Kenny, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Temporary bus drivers authorized amid Vt. strike

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- The transportation agency in Vermont's largest county says it has authorized its staff to secure temporary bus drivers until negotiations with striking drivers are resolved.

The Chittenden County Transportation Authority says the move is "in the interest of restoring transit service as quickly as possible." The authority wants staff to prepare a plan including options for legal action to end the strike.

The measures are part of a resolution adopted Monday by the authority's Board of Commissioners.  Go to full article
Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU
Upstate Correctional Facility in Malone. Source: NYCLU

NY college for inmates to remain privately funded

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) A senior official says Cuomo administration plans to expand college classes for New York's prison inmates will be privately funded and not financed by taxpayers.

The administration official, who declined to be identified publicly under the terms of a background briefing with reporters, says Monday it's not part of the proposed state budget, noting lawmakers' opposition to spending state money.

However, he says nonprofits and foundations are interested.  Go to full article
Saranac Lake middle school students take the state standardized English language arts test in April 2012 in the school's gymnasium. Photo: Chris Knight via Adirondack Daily Enterprise
Saranac Lake middle school students take the state standardized English language arts test in April 2012 in the school's gymnasium. Photo: Chris Knight via Adirondack Daily Enterprise

Astorino blasts state's Common Core

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino says he will pull his children from New York's Common Core tests this week, claiming the new academic standards are turning children into guinea pigs.

The Westchester County executive on Monday released a video on his campaign website saying he and his wife are protesting Common Core by opting out of the exams this week for their children in third and fifth grade.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/96336086@N00/4683415185/">Erik Leenaars</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Erik Leenaars, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

NY attorney general sues FedEx over cigarettes

NEW YORK (AP) The New York state attorney general says FedEx Corp. has cost the state more than $10 million by unlawfully shipping contraband cigarettes to consumers.

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman made the allegation Monday. He announced the state has joined a federal lawsuit that New York City officials brought against the high-speed mail carrier in December.  Go to full article
Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. Photo: ORDA
Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington. Photo: ORDA

NY's snowy winter lets Whiteface extend season

WILMINGTON, N.Y. (AP) The cold, snowy winter has been good to upstate New York ski areas. Whiteface may even be open until May.

Whiteface manager Aaron Kellet tells the Adirondack Daily Enterprise that the official closing date of the ski center near Lake Placid is April 13. But he says it'll probably be open on weekends after that.  Go to full article

Green groups cheer NY budget environment spending

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Conservation groups are glad to see the state's Environmental Protection Fund increased under the $140 billion budget agreement reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders.

But Peter Iwanowicz of Environmental Advocates says lawmakers missed opportunities by again delaying the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2006 and not fixing the state's brownfields cleanup program.  Go to full article

Advocates criticizing NY public finance proposal

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Good-government advocates are criticizing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York's legislative leaders for a budget agreement to test public campaign financing with the state comptroller race this year.

Six good-government groups released a statement Sunday that called the proposal flawed and urged Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and any potential opponent to refuse to participate.  Go to full article

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