Town Fair 2016 is now history, but it was also historic, because for the first time it took place over two days. And there was plenty of activity to fill those two days. A summary of the event, photographs, and links to some of the presentations will follow.
On October 5, 2016, VLCT's voting delegates discussed, debated, and ultimately approved the 2017 VLCT Municipal Policy.
During September and October, VLCT Advocacy is publishing a series of six Municipal Action Papers that explain municipal priority issues and recommend actions during the 2017 legislative session. You can find them on the Municipal Action Papers webpage.
Act 149, passed during the 2016 legislative session, increased several fees that are paid to municipal clerks: (1) the fee for issuing and recording a marriage or civil union license from $45 to $60, with $10 retained by the municipal clerk; and (2) the fee for issuing a tobacco license from $100 to $110. The legislature also created a “tobacco substitute endorsement,” required for the retail sale of tobacco substitutes (e-cigarettes and vape products), and which entails a $50 fee. Funds received by a municipality for a tobacco license or endorsement are forwarded to the Department of Liquor Control, which issues the license, renewal, or endorsement. All fee changes, which took effect on July 1, 2016, will be reflected in the updated VLCT Municipal Clerk Fee Schedule poster. Members will be notified when the poster is available.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is changing its rules regarding which employees may be considered exempt from overtime pay requirements and other protections under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The most significant change is a substantial increase to the minimum salary an employee must earn before his or her position meets the so-called “white collar” exemption. Effective December 1, 2016, that minimum threshold is doubling from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year). If an employee earns more than that amount and his or her position meets certain criteria, he or she is not entitled to overtime pay. Fact sheets on the various “duties tests” for the “white collar” exemption are posted on the DOL website. A general overview by the U.S. DOL is at https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime.
VLCT members that don’t offer group dental coverage can now have VERB’s help in letting their employees sign up directly with Delta Dental for Voluntary coverage. See the Feb. 10, 2016 Memo and our updated Dental page for more information.
The Public Service Department recently hosted five hearings on its draft Comprehensive Energy Plan to solicit Vermonters’ thoughts on the state’s energy future. The goal of the plan is to meet 90% of the state’s energy needs by renewable energy in 2050. Learn more about the plan or comment on it here.
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This YouTube video gives a quick overview of one way we are helping PACIF members' employees get serious about wellness. Studies show that healthy workers are injured less often and recover more quickly than unhealthy ones. In each One-to-One Wellness Consultation, Heidi Joyce spends 30 minutes with a single employee to get a handle on his or her wellness status and develop customized strategies for improving. Members just need to schedule several consultations for a single day so Heidi can share her know-how and enthusiasm.