News March 29

Senator Sanders

Vermont Yankee Sen. Bernie Sanders will speak at a Brattleboro demonstration against continued operation of the aging Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, according to the Valley Post. The April 14 rally is being planned by Citizens Awareness Network, Vermont Public Interest Research Group and others. LINK

Citizens United "With the charge led by Sen. Sanders, Vermonters have launched a crusade against big business," The Vermont Cynic said in an article about 64 towns passing resolutions that would overturn the Supreme Court's ruling in a case called Citizens United that let corporations spend unlimited sums on political campaigns. LINK

Export-Import Bank "President Obama loves the Export-Import Bank, a government agency that subsidizes U.S. exports at taxpayer expense. Many conservatives and liberals -- such as Jim DeMint, Bernie Sanders, and I -- call Ex-Im corporate welfare." So did Obama in 2008, the Washington Examiner reported. LINK 

National

Health Care After three days of historic Supreme Court debate, the political world and health-care companies confronted the prospect of President Barack Obama's health law being wiped away, a decision that would upend years of planning by businesses and roil the November elections, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK 

Transportation After two failed efforts to pass a short-term extension of surface transportation law, House Republican leaders plan to take up a 90-day extension today in an effort to avert a shutdown of federal highway programs on Saturday. The Senate earlier approved its bill on a bipartisan vote, 74-22, Roll Call reported. LINK 

House Budget Republicans pushed toward House passage on Thursday of their new budget plan after crushing a bipartisan alternative Wednesday night and smoothing out internal differences over the handling for future funding for disasters, Politico reported. LINK

Vermont 

Jobs Picture Brightens Vermont's unemployment rate dropped in February to 4.9 percent, the lowest since 2008. Vermont had the fourth-lowest unemployment among the states in February. The national rate remained at 8.3 percent, AP reported. LINK

Green Jobs Vermont leads the country with the highest percentage of green jobs per capita at 4.4 percent. The number includes 600 workers at Vermont Yankee. Not counting the nuclear plant workforce, a greater percentage of Vermonters work at green jobs than in any other state, WCAX reported. LINK

Immunization Against the advice of his own health commissioner, Gov. Peter Shumlin opposed a bill that would remove a philosophical exemption in Vermont's immunization laws. He sided with a coalition of parents in speaking out against the bill backed by health care professionals concerned about declining immunization rates in Vermont, the Vermont Press Bureau reported.

Immigration The state of Vermont joined 10 other states that are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn an immigration law implemented by the state of Arizona, AP reported. The law requires state law enforcement officers to detain and arrest individuals who appear to be illegal immigrants. LINK

Couple Arrested for Teacher's Murder A Waterford couple was arraigned on murder charges in the death of 33-year-old Melissa Jenkins of St. Johnsbury. Allen R. Prue, 30, and Patricia L. Prue, 33, could face life in prison in the slaying of the St. Johnsbury Academy science teacher, the Rutland Herald reported. LINK