Leonine: Legislature reconvenes with budget focus

first_imgTOP #VTPOLI TWEETS  TO OUR READERSLeonine Public Affairs(link is external) Please visit our website(link is external) for our in-depth reporting on COVID-19 throughout the United States. This site is courtesy of Leonine FOCUS(link is external), our 50-state legislative regulatory, tracking and reporting service. The site is frequently updated and includes information on executive orders, legislation, regulation, tax deadlines and more from across the country.Source: Leonine Public Affairs, Montpelier, Legislative Report Fall Session – Week 1 – August 28, 2020. leoninepublicaffairs.com. (link is external)Through a special arrangement with Leonine, Vermont Business Magazine republishes Leonine’s legislative report on vermontbiz.com BACK AGAINLeonine Public Affairs On Tuesday the Vermont General Assembly reconvened for what is projected to be a three to five week session. The primary focus of the fall session is to finalize the FY2021 budget for the remaining three quarters of the fiscal year, October 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. The legislature approved funding for the first three months of FY2021 before they recessed in June. The fall session will cap an unprecedented year in the Vermont Legislature, which usually finishes its work in May or June. But as a result of COVID-19, the legislature will have been in session for the vast majority of 2020 when all is said and done. The beginning of the fall session was preceded by Governor Phil Scott’s budget “restatement” proposal which he issued on August 18. The restatement modifies the governor’s initial budget proposal from January and builds off the first quarter FY2021 budget that was approved in June. The restatement proposes to balance the budget without major cuts or tax increases and fills the projected $66 million general fund gap through a variety of reallocations, vacancy savings and continued increased reimbursement for Medicaid expenses from the federal government. The restatement also includes proposals to spend $198 million in remaining coronavirus relief funding (CRF). The majority of the relief funding ($133 million) would be allocated to continue economic relief programs enacted in June. Another provision would provide $2 million in economic stimulus for undocumented workers who were denied federal stimulus checks. Other provisions include giving each Vermont household a $150 gift card and increasing funding for state infrastructure projects.This week lawmakers went quickly to work on the restatement proposal and the House and Senate Appropriations Committees held joint hearings to expedite the process. The House Appropriations Committee hopes to be in a position to vote on the budget next week.While the tone of the relationship between the governor and lawmakers continues to be collaborative, there are some disagreements that will need to be resolved before adjournment. The most prominent is probably funding to support the Vermont State College system (VSC). The governor included $30 million in CRF funds for VSC but only if the federal government changes current restrictions to allow it. If and when this will happen is uncertain, and legislative leaders and the House and Senate Appropriations committees have indicated their commitment to fund VSC regardless of whether the federal government acts.Another strange dynamic in a strange year stems from lawmakers trying to finish up their work at a time they would normally be campaigning. This combined with the fact that COVID-19 has turned traditional campaigning on its head makes for an unprecedented and bizarre situation.While the FY2021 budget is the focus, there are still some policy bills in play. These include a bill to allow for the retail sale of cannabis, a climate solutions bill and a bill addressing the needs of older Vermonters. Because the 2020 session is the second half of the biennium, all bills that do not pass both chambers before adjournment will die. Senate President Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden said this week that lawmakers will not remain in session after passage of the budget, so whatever has not reached the finish line by that point will have to be revisited next year.Given this dynamic, permission has been granted to the committees to only work on a limited number of bills. Specifically, only those bills that have passed at least one chamber and are relatively close to the finish line in the other chamber.last_img read more

France, Hungary and South Africa shortlisted for 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World…

first_img Related IRONMAN has announced the finalists for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship triathlon. Three cities, all of which currently host IRONMAN or IRONMAN 70.3 races, have been named as the finalists in the selection process. These are: Nice (France), Budapest (Hungary) and Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay (South Africa).The 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will be a two-day event, like the 2017 edition – with the professional women and age-group women racing on one day and the professional men and age-group men racing on the other.“The IRONMAN 70.3 triathlon series has grown exponentially over the past few years, with the World Championship featuring the best athletes from around the world,” said Andrew Messick, Chief Executive Officer of IRONMAN.“We have been extremely pleased with the global rotation of the event and providing our athletes with an exceptional world-class race in fantastic locations. Nice, Budapest and Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay are all extraordinary hosts to current IRONMAN and IRONMAN 70.3 races – providing beautiful and challenging courses and world-class hospitality for our athletes and families. Each city is well suited to host this pinnacle event.”The IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship began an annual global rotation in 2014 in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. The 2015 race was held in Europe for the first time, in Zell am See-Kaprun, SalzburgerLand, Austria.This September, the 2016 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship shifts to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time – in Queensland, Australia’s Sunshine Coast, with athletes representing over 70 countries and ranging in age from 18 to 75-plus.In 2017, the championship event moves to Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA where it will be a two-day event for the first time.Beginning in July 2017, athletes from around the world will earn the right to compete in the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship by qualifying at any of the more than 100 IRONMAN 70.3 events globally.Finalists:Nice, France – Nice, located in the Côte d’Azur area on the southeast coast of France, is the capital of the stunning French Riviera and is the fifth-largest city in France. Host to IRONMAN France since 2005, Nice incorporates a swim in the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea and a run course along Nice’s historic Promenade des Anglais waterfront.With one of the largest international airports in France located just minutes away from the city, Nice is easily accessible and welcomes over five million visitors every year. Beyond the beauty of the area, Nice also offers a rich culture built by some of the greatest painters, writers and musicians the world has known. With year-round sunshine, a scenic location, and outstanding cuisine and culture, Nice embodies all the benefits of a historic coastal city.Budapest, Hungary – Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Budapest is the largest city in Hungary and is also one of the biggest cities in the European Union. This tourist destination hosts IRONMAN 70.3 Budapest, joining the circuit in 2014. The Danube River, which is the longest river in the European Union, runs through the center of the city and along the Buda hills and Palace District.Budapest is well known for its restorative thermal baths, some of which date back to the Middle Ages. With a history that dates back to the 1200’s, the city attracts about 4.4 million tourists a year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world. Downtown’s nightlife district brings both culinary excellence and the relaxed atmosphere of underground-style lounges.Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa – The beachside community of Port Elizabeth within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality is South Africa’s second oldest city and is the coastal and economic hub of the Eastern Cape. Athletes and spectators who travel to Port Elizabeth get the unique opportunity to visit one of the most widely beautiful and historically significant places in the world.Currently hosting the Standard Bank IRONMAN African Championship, the course in Nelson Mandela Bay and the city of Port Elizabeth has athletes utilizing the beautiful surroundings of Hobie, Humewood and Kings Beaches. While fishing, surfing, whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing are enjoyed by tourists, Nelson Mandela Bay also prides itself on offering the ability to see lions, rhinos, buffalo, leopards, and elephants in wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area.IRONMAN expects approximately 190,000 registered athletes to race at over 100 events in the global IRONMAN 70.3 Series during the 2017 season in locations such as Australia, Brazil, Malaysia and China to qualify for the 2018 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship.In addition, each age-group winner at the 2017 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship will automatically qualify for the 2018 championship.www.ironman.com/worldchampionship70.3last_img read more

Court of Appeal judge admits motoring offence

first_imgA Court of Appeal Judge has lost his licence for 56 days after speeding through a red light – his fourth motoring offence in eighteen months. Sir Mathew Thorpe (pictured), 73, could have been disqualified for six months, but convinced District Judge Daphne Wickham that this would cause ‘exceptional hardship’ to his farming work. Thorpe admitted failing to comply with a red light in Victoria Embankment on 3 February. He was also fined £250, with £250 costs. City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard that Sir Mathew had clocked up nine penalty points for speeding in November 2009, July 2010 and April this year. An additional three penalty points were added for the red light offence, making him liable for disqualification. His Skoda Fabia was snapped by a traffic camera jumping the red light at 39 mph at 6.55am. ‘I do rely on the car to get between my two places of work, but more importantly for my farming in Wiltshire,’ Sir Mathew told the court. ‘The farm buildings are the hub of the wheel. Cattle have to be fed by driving around the hub. I work three days a week on the farm.’ Thorpe told the court he is separated from his wife and has one part-time employee to help him, insisting it was not practical to find more staff. ‘It would be difficult, I can’t say impossible, but in a small community I can’t think of anyone qualified or suitable. ‘I would want somebody who knew what they were doing on a farm.’ Thorpe said he needed to drive animal feed a distance of one-and-a-half miles to take care of his cattle. His lawyer Yvette Kresner said: ‘It is a very difficult junction. There is a large bike lane and two other lanes. ‘It was a split-second decision by Sir Mathew not to cause danger to other road users, and go through the lights.’ District Judge Wickham – who knows Sir Mathew professionally – said: ‘He is entitled to put these circumstances in front of me and six months would be a long time for the defendant to be disqualified if he was able to maintain that aspect of his life.’ A spokesman for the Judicial Office said that accrording to normal procedures, the matter would be referred to the Office for Judicial Complaints for inquiries to be made, and for ‘consideration in due course by the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor’.last_img read more

Claimant lawyers hail landmark asbestos risk ruling

first_imgLord Justice Jackson at Law SocietyLord Justice Jackson said the High Court judge in Bussey v Anglia Heating Ltd had felt ‘constrained’ by relying on data that was never intended to be used as a yardstick for making claims.Guidelines produced 40 years ago about acceptable levels of asbestos fibres in the air have been used as the test for assessing the claims of victims since the ruling in Williams v the University of Birmingham in 2011.This latest ruling is being hailed by claimant lawyers as an acknowledgment the application of historic data is wrong, and that the courts have wrongly applied the measurements as a guide to employers of a so-called ‘safe’ level of asbestos in which people could work.Caroline Pinfold, an industrial disease solicitor at London firm Fieldfisher, who represented the claimant in Bussey, said: ‘These data that measured levels of asbestos fibres in the air have been wrongly applied by employers and their lawyers to deny or delay claimants the compensation they deserved. I know the ruling will come as a huge relief for mesothelioma sufferers and their families who have had their cases put on hold waiting for this decision.’‘Sadly, many others will have died in the meantime without being given funds to pursue private immunotherapy treatment that could have given them some respite.’Veronica Bussey pursued a claim for compensation against one of her husband’s former employers after he died in 2016 from cancer associated with asbestos.  Caroline PinfoldIn May last year, His Honour Judge Yelton decided he was bound by Williams, but the Court of Appeal ruling means that judgment is set aside and the case remitted for determination on the issue of liability.Lord Justice Moylan, agreeing with Jackson LJ, said there were particular concerns about the categorisation of risks.With a note that will be of interest to all litigation lawyers, he added: ‘To seek to address whether a particular risk is acceptable or unacceptable could well lead to confusion rather than assisting the court in determining the critical question of the foreseeability of the relevant risk.’ The Court of Appeal has reset the threshold for asbestos-related cases, which could pave the way for thousands of potential claims.#*#*Show Fullscreen*#*#last_img read more

5G Data Requirements to Amplify the Need for Network Testing

first_imgA tremendous increase in global mobile data traffic due to the use of video and other high data applications on smartphones is causing network overloads. Wireless network testing is witnessing a resurgence due to the high demand for a better customer experience. Traditional drive test solutions are no longer sufficient to provide a true picture of the quality a customer is experiencing. Thus, there is a need for additional operation support systems (OSS) tools with geo-location, as well as highly effective active and passive monitoring probes.Frost & Sullivan’s research, Global Wireless Network Test Equipment Market, 2017–2023, finds that 5G is expected to bring several changes in infrastructure and networks. With this change, the need for testing is expected to rise and will lead to more parameters monitored through key performance indicators. The study examines current and expected market developments, drivers, restraints, opportunities, regional trends, and end-user perspectives. Segments analyzed include OSS (CM/FM/PM), OSS with geo-location equipment, site test equipment, SON test equipment, active monitoring, passive monitoring, and crowdsourcing.With each new wireless technology rollout, there is a critical need to refresh and update drive test equipment so that the new technologies can be successfully and accurately measured. Currently, OSS testing and drive testing is applicable for 3G, 4G/LTE, and even VoLTE. However, with the evolution of newer technologies such as 5G, drive testing becomes expensive and exorbitant. The testing process has to be redone from the beginning with a new workflow process. In the near future, minimization of drive test integrated with geo-location is expected to provide more accurate results that will enable vendors to provide more services.Strategic imperatives for SP success include: Focus on burgeoning vertical to remain relevant; Offer customers combination products and customization options; Seek partnerships with third-party providers for value-added services; Demonstrate product features and capabilities on websites to differentiate offerings; and Improve connections with customers through robust online presence, eCommerce facilities, and mobile applications for purchase and services. Global Wireless Network Test Equipment Market, 2017–2023 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s Test & Measurement Growth Partnership Service program.last_img read more

Muraguchi leads Stanley Ladies

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES SUSONO, Shizuoka Pref. – Fumiko Muraguchi shot a 4-under-par 68 for the second straight day in a bogey-free round on Saturday to grab a three-stroke sole lead going into the final round of the Stanley Ladies tournament.Teeing off for the second round at Tomei Country Club three strokes off the pace, Muraguchi, seeking her first tour title in four years, birdied four holes for a 36-hole total of 8-under 136. South Korean Ko Woo Soon scattered four birdies against two bogeys en route to a 70 over the 6,447-yard course to share second place with rookie Hiromi Takesue (72) at 139. IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img read more