March 29, 2002 – News at a Glance

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State’s Arthur Andersen Contract
Vermont has a multi-million dollar contract with Arthur Andersen accounting and consulting firm. Vermont used Andersen computer consultants for an expensive computer upgrade. The system still is not working right, and state officials are now worried that Andersen’s recent troubles may affect its ability to complete its Vermont contracts. (VPR)

The Senate on Thursday afternoon gave its final approval to a new House reapportionment map. But there were some surprises during the Senate’s debate over this issue. (VPR)

Drought Serious, Not Critical
Vermont’s Drought Task Force met Thursday to go over the latest information on the impact of a yearlong spell of dry weather. There are currently 35,000 people in Vermont affected by water outages and shortages due to the drought. (VPR)

Renewable Energy
The Senate on Thursday afternoon gave its final approval to legislation that is designed to stimulate the state’s renewable energy industry. (VPR)

House Budget Approval
The House late Thursday afternoon gave its preliminary approval to a proposed state budget for next year. During the first day of review, House members rejected several efforts to restore funds for various programs. (VPR)

State Budget
The Vermont House has approved an $890 million budget. The budget does not include any funding for Medicaid. (AP)

UVM Continuing Education
The University of Vermont has laid off 20 people from its continuing education division. The division expects to lose another 16 employees by attrition. The unit has a $2 million budget deficit. (AP)

Act 60
The Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee has yet another plan to relieve property-wealthy towns of their obligations in the school funding law. Details of the plan are not yet known. (AP)

Police Shooting Lawsuit
A lawsuit by the family of a man shot by Brattleboro police in a church has been put on hold for two months by a federal judge at the request of the Vermont attorney general. Attorney General William Sorrell is leading a criminal investigation of the two officers involved. (AP)

Commission on Women
The House has approved a bill to defund the Governor’s Commission on Women and fold it into the executive branch. The Commission is currently an independent council. (AP)

Road Closed
Route 5A is closed near Lake Willoughby until road crews remove some large boulders that fell on the road last night. (AP)

Dean Presidential Bid
Governor Howard Dean told a doctors’ group that Democrats need to concentrate on domestic issues like health care and education. Dean made the comments while he was in Iowa exploring a run for the presidency. (AP)

NH Paper Mills
Bids on the closed paper mills in northern New Hampshire have been delayed while the owners and the state negotiate some unforeseen issues. (AP)

Yankee Disaster Drill
Federal officials have ordered the state to re-run an emergency evacuation drill for the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant. The drill did not go very well the first time they did it last week. (AP)

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