Legislative leaders announce priorities for second half of session

first_imgSpeaker Shap Smith and Senate President Peter Shumlin today announced their legislative priorities for the remainder of the 2009 session.  Speaker Smith and Senator Shumlin made a commitment to passing at least seven pieces of legislation that will create good paying jobs for Vermonters, encourage the development of clean renewable energy, reduce the Governor s proposed tax burden on businesses and grant equal marriage rights to all Vermonters. The legislative leaders highlighted seven pieces of legislation that they are committed to passing before the legislature adjourns in May. ●  An economic development and jobs creation bill that will include targeted money for venture capital. ●  The Speaker s $125 million bonding proposal that will fund a variety of transportation projects such as increased funding for state and local roads and bridges and capital projects to strengthen our public transit system. ●  A comprehensive green energy bill that will encourage the development of in state renewable energy generation.  This bill will encourage the development of solar, biomass and geothermal technology and will both allow and encourage wind development on state lands. ●  A decommissioning bill that will ensure that Vermonters will not have to cover the remaining costs of decommissioning the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant and that the plant s owners are held accountablefor the entire clean up costs.    ●  Balancing the Unemployment Insurance Fund without placing the entire burden on our struggling businesses.  The Speaker and Pro Tem will bring together a group of business leaders together to discuss what increases are appropriate and tolerable during this time of economic crisis as well as ways in which to improve enforcement.  Many states are facing the same challenges and we will also explore what assistance the federal government can provide. ●  A variety of bills regarding our election laws.  These include campaign finance reform and same day voter registration. ●  A marriage equality bill that will grant all Vermonters the equalright to marry.     We have devoted the first half of the session to finding ways for the legislature to help stimulate the economy and create jobs for Vermonters, said Senator Shumlin.  We will continue our focus on the economy by encouraging green energy development, targeting money toward venture capital and funding a variety of transportation projects.  We will also pass legislation to improve our election system and end the inequality in our civil marriage laws. I am proud of the work that the legislature has done in the first half of the session, said Speaker Smith.  We have proposed a balanced approach to the budget, initiatives to make our government more efficient and passed one of the toughest sex offender bills in the nation.  I look forward to continuing our work to make Vermont a more sustainable and prosperous state.Source: Speaker of the Houselast_img read more

Eagle eye view of the racetrack

first_imgDan and Rebecca Smith are auctioning their trackside home 114 Mein St, Hendra. Pictured with their children (from oldest to youngest) Ava, Savannah and Harry.Dan Smith’s company specialises in beautiful, high-end renovations, so when it came time for Dan and his wife, Rebecca, to build their own home, they knew exactly what to do.They bought a vacant block next to Eagle Farm Racecourse in 2014 and created a stunning, Hamptons-inspired, five-bedroom masterpiece.114 Mein St Hendra, Brisbane is a beautiful, Hamptons-inspired home. The owner builder new exactly what he wanted in the new home.“The house is designed so you spend all day upstairs, and then at night you just head down and go to bed,” Mr Smith of WS Constructions, said.The home takes full advantage of its position next to the racecourse’s 1400m start mark.“They (the horses) pretty much put their head over the fence,” Mr Smith said.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoThere are great views of Eagle Farm Racetrack from main bedroom too.“Anywhere you sit upstairs you can see the track.“And even when the horses aren’t there, it’s just nice to look because it’s like someone has mowed your grass.”The house has some incredible features including a pool built into the upstairs deck.“I thought, ‘How good would it be to just sit in the pool and watch the races?’ So we made it happen,” Mr Smith said.“How good would it be to just sit in the pool and watch the races?”– well done Dan and Rebecca Smith.It is supported by a block wall perimeter that runs to ground level, with the space below used for a wine cellar.“It’s pretty much insulated by block walls and it’s got the pool over the top of it so it’s pretty heavily insulated all around,” he said.The owner said this glass-front wine cellar had become a real talking point with guests.Oak floors in the home are wire brushed, which Mr Smith said gave them a textural feel.The kitchen is in stunning white, and the Smiths loved their wire-brushed oak flooring too.After two-years calling Mein St home, the family has decided to move on to their next project.“I get great satisfaction out of doing something and then someone buying it for the price that you want, and appreciating it,” Mr Smith said.Retiring to the outdoors on the lower level is pretty good too.The home at 114 Mein St, Hendra, will be auctioned on-site today at 10am by Ray White Ascot.Follow Kieran Clair on Twitter at @kieranclair or facebook on Kieran Clair — journolast_img read more