March 12, 2004 – News at a glance

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National Life insurance to out-source jobs
The National Life insurance company in Montpelier has shifted more than 150 jobs to a separate information technology company. On Thursday, many of those workers were told if they’ll get to keep their jobs in Vermont. The move to out-source the work saves National Life about $20 million over five years. But some of the jobs will go to India, and National Life has come under increasing criticism for its decision. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

No action expected on four year term
A proposed constitutional amendment extending the governor’s term in office to four years has been dealt a major setback in the Senate. The head of the Senate Government Operations Committee says his panel is divided over this issue and no action on the plan is expected for the rest of the session. (Listen to the story online or read the transcript.) (VPR)

UVM Catamounts host America East Championship Saturday
The University of Vermont gets a shot at its second straight appearance in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament when the Catamounts take on the Maine Black Bears Saturday morning at Patrick Gymnasium in South Burlington. (VPR)

Vermont Transit Company eliminates Kingdom bus route
The Vermont Transit Company is planning to eliminate bus service between Newport and White River Junction starting April 4. Vermont Transit says the route is the company’s poorest performer, carrying an average of four passengers a trip. (VPR)

Sanders backs legislation to increase FCC fines
Congressman Bernie Sanders is backing legislation that would crack down on indecent behavior on radio and television. The bill, which passed the U.S. House by a wide margin on Thursday, increases the size of fines that the Federal Communications Commission can levy against broadcasters who violate indecency regulations. (VPR)

Possible Guard deployment
More Vermont National Guard members could be headed to Iraq. About 40 members of detachment one of the 42nd Military Police Company were alerted on Thursday that it could be deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

NH marriage bill
Lawmakers in New Hampshire say they won’t recognize gay marriages. Gay marriages would not be recognized in the state under a bill approved on Thursday by the New Hampshire Senate. The bill now goes to the House. (AP)

Prescription drug pool
It looks like Vermont and Michigan are going to go ahead with a plan to purchase drugs together for their Medicaid programs. Vermont Governor Jim Douglas says the federal government will approve the plan, which has been in place since early last year. (AP)

Students on school boards
The Vermont House has approved a bill that could allow student members of local school boards to vote. The bill, sponsored by Swanton Republican Representative Kathy Lavoie, passed by a vote of 95 to 45. (AP)

High school merger dropped
A plan to ease overcrowding at Montpelier High School by merging with U-32 High School in East Montpelier has been scrapped. Instead, Montpelier officials are beginning the search for other ways to address how declining student enrollment will affect the city’s schools. (AP)

Tax credits
Vermonters are missing out on millions of dollars because they are not applying for earned income and child tax credits. That’s according to Governor Jim Douglas. Douglas says an estimated 20 percent of eligible Vermonters do not apply for the earned income credit. (AP)

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