Voices in the week’s news: September 26, 2008

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The federal bailout of Wall Street and increased LIHEAP funding weren’t the only stories making news this week. The Vermont State Police came out with a new policy of not questioning migrant workers about their citizenship when they’re victims of crimes. The head of Vermont’s Bankers Association says the market downturn could affect loans, and non-profits say their funding may also take a hit. High feed and fuel prices are pushing farmers into the red. Also, Vermont students performed poorly on a statewide science test, and a regional cap and trade effort, known as RGGI, kicked off this week. Here are some of the voices in this week’s news.

State police adopt new policy on undocumented farm workers
(Colonel James Baker) "It was a change in our position but it was the first time that we were confronted with this situation where individuals because of their immigration status were being targeted as victims."

Experts say national financial crisis could hurt state’s economy
(Chris D’Elia) “Now it doesn’t mean that at some point along the way we might not be affected. What starts to become of concern now is if there is a credit crunch, if there’s a tightening of access to capital, that’s often how we rely on making loans, is we go out into the market, we sell our paper and we recapitalize our loan portfolios in order to make new loans to Vermonters. If that’s tightened in anyway, then that can become problematic for some of our banks.”

Non-profits worry about impact of Wall St. downturn on charitable Freeman Foundation
(Philipe Rivera) “I can’t imagine that some non-profits are not going to see a real disruption in their work because they’ve been significant recipients of funding from Freeman.”

Farmers facing economic trouble
(Diane Bothfeld) "We really are getting to the point where the price to be paid out in October and November will probably dip below a farmer’s just plain operating cost, no return on investment, no profitability. … We’re going to see a tough times in the last few months of 2008 for dairy farmers.”

Standardized tests show Vermont students deficient in science
(Michael Hock) "Unfortunately the trends on this test seem to be the same as they were on reading, mathematics and writing, that students who come from families below the poverty level did less well on the test than their counterparts whose families are above the poverty level."

Interview: Richard Cowart on RGGI

(Richard Cowart) "One of the important breakthroughs with RGGI, which we’re seeing today with the auction of carbon allowances is the fact that for the first time a major cap-and-trade program is requiring polluters to purchase these allowances from the public.”

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