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- Rutland officials outline priorities at the first legislative breakfast of the year
RUTLAND-Representatives of Rutland Economic Development Corp.
and the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce outlined their
legislative priorities at the first legislative breakfast of the
year, Monday, Feb. 13.
Transportation was highlighted as a top priority and discussion
about air and rail improvements followed.
Tom Donahue, the executive vice president of the Chamber, said
improvements to the airport would help increase traffic to Rutland
and plans for a passenger train connecting Rutland to Burlington
and still in the works.
"Anything you can do for passenger rail benefits freight and vice
versa," he said. "We'll get there. I don't think there's a person,
House representative or senator, in this room who isn't behind
transportation in all modes for this area."
Central Vermont Public Service Corp. (CVPS) also presented a
$50,000 check to Rutland Economic Development Corp. (REDC) - the
first half of $100,000 pledged the "green jobs fund." This
agreement was part of the merger between CVPS and Green Mountain
Act 250, the state's land use and development law, was also
discussed at length as some would like to see the process changed
to make it faster and easier for everyone. It was suggested that
applicants should have the option of doing hearings "on the record"
so that appeals are a review of the record rather than new
hearings. On-the-record hearings, however, are more expensive and,
therefore, make the most sense for large projects where controversy
The rising cost of health care, a common concern for the business
community and state, was also discussed at length. To make
improvements to the health care system and create sustainable
costs, the state will need to take into account not only the price
per "unit" of health care costs but also the number of units
needed. It was suggested that any single-payer system must
reimburse at a higher rate than Medicare or the health care system