News summary: Effective July 1, Vermont will no longer tax menstrual products
Vermont Reporters are providing a summary of key takeaways on ARPA funding for health insurance, pandemic food aid and more for Thursday, July 1.
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1. New court order gives people living in emergency housing during the pandemic more time to prove their continued eligibility
A court order issued Wednesday will give some Vermonters living in motels more time to prove their eligibility for the emergency housing program.
Before the order, hundreds of homeless people were at risk of being evicted.
Vermont Legal Aid sued the state this week, alleging that the proper process was not used when the stricter eligibility rules were passed.
The temporary court order gives people two weeks to gather documents about a disability that qualifies them to stay in the emergency housing program.
Sean Brown is the commissioner of the Department for Children and Families.
“And so, we think this is a good interim deal that we made with Legal Aid and we are already implementing it today,” he said.
The new agreement is temporary and the Legal Aid case is still pending in court.
– Liam Elder-Connors
2. Effective July 1, Vermont will no longer tax menstrual products
Beginning Thursday, July 1, menstrual products like reusable tampons, pads and cups will no longer be subject to the 6% Vermont sales tax.
Many things are exempt from sales tax, including food, most clothing, diapers, and medications.
This is because they are seen as necessities. Menstrual products are a necessity for more than 50% of the population, and for years advocates have said it is unfair to tax them.
Senator Ruth Hardy, who co-sponsored the bill, said it was a milestone for the Vermont legislature.
“The state recognizes that we have a lever to pull,” said Hardy. “We realize that it is unfair to impose a tax on things that concern only one sex and that have a disproportionate impact on young women. And so, we pulled the lever; we have done what we can in this area.
A separate law passed this session requires schools in Vermont to provide free menstrual products. This provision will enter into force next year.
– Jane Lindholm
3. Bridport Farm Receives Grant to Participate in Six-Year National Land Management Study
An Addison County dairy farm will work with the University of Vermont to measure how soil management could combat climate change and phosphorus pollution.
The six-year study, funded by a grant of $ 850,000, will take place at Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, one of the state’s largest dairies.
UVM researchers will collect data on how practices such as cover crops and no-till farming will affect greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and soil health.
Marie Audet, of Blue Spruce Farm, says the study is the latest in a list of innovative practices adopted by the dairy.
“We have changed many times – as data changes, as information changes, as the climate changes, to meet the needs of our consumers, to meet the needs of our neighbors, to take care of this beautiful place that we have. in the world, ”says Audet.
The UVM study is part of a larger, multi-million dollar project on dozens of farms in the country’s major dairy regions.
– Elodie Reed
4. New Federal Grant Will Help Kindergarten to Grade 12 Educators Teach Vermont Archaeological Sites
A federal grant this summer will help 72 K-12 educators – mostly from the Northeast – learn how to better teach some of Vermont’s historic sites.
The Vermont Archaeological Society received the National Endowment for the Humanities grant.
Teachers will watch videos and experience 3D simulations of excavations during two online sessions, says Angela Labrador, co-director and president of the company.
“I think our focus on the archaeological sites was definitely a distinguishing factor,” Labrador said. “I think a lot of other programs just focus on the historical sites that you can visit, and everything is very nice and beautiful above ground. But with archaeological sites there is an additional challenge of: How do you teach using a site that might not yet have visible remains?
The sessions will focus on seven Revolutionary War sites.
– Reed Nye
5. Calls to cancel Canada Day celebrations after the discovery of Indian Residential School graves
Thursday July 1 is Canada Day, marking the time in 1867 when the British colonies of present-day Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia united in the Dominion of Canada.
But there have been growing calls to cancel this year’s celebrations, following the discovery of the remains of hundreds of Indigenous children in anonymous graves at the sites of former residential schools.
During the 19th and 20th centuries, as Canada became a country, at least 150,000 First Nations children were taken from their families and sent to government-run residential schools.
We know that at least 4,000 children have disappeared from schools on the reserve.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Chief Bobby Cameron of the Federation of Sovereign Indian Nations of Saskatchewan said celebrating Canada Day was “without regard for all the children’s lives that have been lost.”
Radio-Canada Montreal reports that several cities in Canada have completely canceled their Canada Day celebrations.
Walks and vigils are scheduled for Thursday in Montreal and Quebec, to honor the memory of those who died in residential schools.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not cancel this year’s entirely virtual Canada Day commemoration, but called for a day of reflection on the country’s relations with its First Nations people.
– Ryan Finnerty, NCPR
6. The Everybody Eats food aid program to cut services in half in September
A program that provided more than 40,000 meals to Vermonters each week during the pandemic will shrink over the next few months.
The initiative, called Everybody Eats, pays restaurants for meals distributed to pantries, churches and community centers across the state.
Services will be cut by about half by September.
It is as if many community meal sites and food shelves are returning to normal service.
Jean Hamilton is the statewide program coordinator with Southeastern Vermont Community Action.
“It will take time, of course,” said Hamilton. “It’s not just about flipping a switch. This is part of the transition that restaurant meals will be able to support. “
Funding for the program comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It should end in three months.
– Lexi Krupp
7. ARPA Could Help Uninsured Vermonters Get Low-Cost Health Care Coverage
A lesser-known provision of the federal COVID relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan Act, or APRA, could help uninsured Vermonters get health care coverage at low cost.
Mike Fisher is the chief health care attorney for Legal Aid of Vermont.
“If an American has received even a week of unemployment insurance, they are receiving very generous support,” Fisher said.
Fisher says anyone unemployed during the pandemic will see a reduction in out-of-pocket costs for needed care throughout the year, as well as a high level of premium tax credit.
Vermonters should check messages and letters from the Department of Labor or their health care providers to find out how they can benefit from ARPA.
Listen to the entire conversation.
– Emily Aiken
8. Do you want to protect yourself against the Delta variant? Deputy health commissioner says getting vaccinated is key
As the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread, Vermont health officials say if you’re fully vaccinated, your risk remains low in the state.
Vermont Assistant Health Commissioner Tracy Dolan said all three COVID vaccines are effective.
“All of the vaccines we have administered in Vermont are safe and effective. At this time, we do not recommend any additional vaccines, if you received either Johnson and Johnson in one dose, or both doses of Pfizer or Moderna, ”Dolan said. “If that changes, we’ll take a look at it and we’ll definitely let you know.”
Dolan says there aren’t many viruses present in the state, but the best way to protect yourself from the Delta variant is to get the vaccine.
Listen to the entire conversation.
– Connor Cyrus
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