Governor Peter Shumlin today signed the state’s Budget Adjustment Bill, a milestone for progress in the legislative session. The governor noted that this is the earliest date any governor had signed this legislation in at least a decade, and complimented the leadership in the House and the Senate for moving swiftly to affordably address the needs of Vermonters.‘We arrived at the State House in January aware of the difficult spending decisions facing Vermont,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘My administration and the House and Senate worked overtime to ensure this spending adjustment for the current year is affordable for taxpayers, yet meets our most pressing needs.’The bill for the current fiscal year includes:· Approximately $19 million from the federal Jobs Bill to help schools meet budget constraints;· $500,000 to combat homelessness in Vermont — $300,000 in grants directly to shelters, and $200,000 in General Assistance to help renters avoid eviction due to late payment, and assist with housing deposits to move homeless Vermonters into housing;· $700,000 to provide assistance to Vermonters with traumatic brain injuries through the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living; and· $280,000 to the Department for Children and Families to provide living assistance to the aged, blind and disabled.The Budget Adjustment Bill is an annual act that makes a mid-course correction to this year’s spending plan based on changes in the challenges facing Vermont since lawmakers approved a current-year budget the previous spring. In all, this bill proposes a relatively small spending increase of about $6 million in total spending for the year. The bill also includes some spending reductions created by caseload changes or other program shifts.‘We have challenging decisions to make in this building moving forward,’ Gov. Shumlin said. ‘It is imperative that ‘ just as we did in passing the Budget Adjustment Bill ‘ we work cooperatively to balance the needs of Vermonters with their ability to pay for those services.’ Source: MONTPELIER ‘ 2.17.2011
Teekay LNG Partners, one of the world’s largest owners of LNG carriers, swung back to profit in the second quarter of 2018.The partnership reported a net income of $2.7 million for the quarter under review, compared to a net loss of $6.9 million in the first quarter of the year and a net loss of $16 million reported in the corresponding period in 2017.The adjusted net income dropped to $13.5 million from $22 million in the previous quarter and $17.8 million in the second quarter of 2017.The net income increase has been positively impacted by the deliveries of seven liquefied natural gas (LNG) and three LPG carrier newbuildings between July 2017 and May 2018 and the commencement of short-term charter contracts for certain of the vessels in the Partnership’s 52 percent-owned joint venture with Marubeni Corporation, the company said in its report.The company’s president and CEO, Mark Kremin said that it has “experienced another quarter of increased earnings and cash flow from” LNG carriers.“We have taken delivery of nine LNG carriers over the past nine months, including the Myrina and the Megara in early-May and mid-July 2018, respectively, both of which are on long-term, fixed-rate charters to Shell, and we are anticipating the delivery of the Bahrain Spirit FSU later this month,” Kremin said.Quarterly voyage revenues increased during the period under review, reaching $122 million compared to $100 million reported in the quarter ending June 30, 2017.
The Bradley Sonnenberg Wellness Initiative funded by Glenn and Andrea Sonnenberg in honor of their late son and from Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles Cutting Edge Grant, will employ a full-time social work professional to take on the role of associate director of health and wellness. For students across campus, USC Hillel, a small cottage tucked between campus and the Row, serves various purposes. Sometimes it’s a workspace, other times it’s a place for a home-cooked meal or an escape from the stress of college. Earlier this month, USC Hillel took on another role when it launched a wellness initiative to help students struggling with mental health. “In this plugged-in, ever-alienating society of ours, I think that there are not a lot of resources for people who may have issues,” Glenn Sonnenberg said. “Maybe not even big issues, but just day-to-day sort of making it through, [like] participating [in] activities with others and having a safe place to chill and maybe having somebody to talk to — it drove us to this wellness initiative.” Ilana Cohen, a junior studying cognitive science who frequently visits Hillel, said she hopes students will take advantage of the resources available through the initiative. Putting student wellness high on the priority list is nothing new for USC Hillel. Past leadership, like former Executive Director Bailey London, emphasized Hillel’s role in addressing mental health on campus through informational workshops and organized activities that allowed students to unplug and take a breather. The Sonnenbergs additionally stressed the importance of placing the initiative within reach of any student seeking help or someone to talk to, regardless of religious identity. Hillel also plans to continue weekly activities such as hiking, yoga and community sports as a part of its physical wellness program. “Anyone who works on campus [knows] the pressures students face and the varying ways, and sometimes specialized ways, we might need to offer to respond to those pressures and to encourage healthy balance,” Cohn said. Dave Cohn, who is starting as this year’s executive director for USC Hillel, hopes to carry on the legacy that past leadership has instituted in making student wellness a high priority. Cohn previously worked for Hillel at UCLA and has spent years with college students at summer camps and university camps. “In the past, especially recently, there were all these attacks on the Jewish community, and Hillel was a really great space to go to,” Cohen said. “They react and take care of the students immediately, and they bring you in. So this initiative is great because even outside the Jewish community things are always going on and problems are always arising. You always will need someone to talk to.” “The [Engemann Student Health Center] is not able to help everybody,” Andrea Sonnenberg said. “They’re overwhelmed by the demand. People can’t get in; they can’t get in for months, and they only get a certain number of sessions, so that’s part of the reason why the need is so great. There’s just not the supply.” American college students show higher rates of diagnosis for poor mental health, particularly for anxiety, depression and panic attacks, according to a study published by the Journal of American College Health last year. USC Hillel already provides resources for students struggling with drug addiction and depression, but this initiative takes that support much further by adding professionalization to an already established wellness program.