Nat Rudarakanchana

Disagreements, political theater delay campaign finance reform

White, Galbraith battle on Senate floor over details of legislation

The state Senate is clashing with recent House-approved campaign finance measures and called for a conference committee to resolve the disputes.

Senate Government Operations committee chair Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, called some aspects of the House version “troubling.”

She cited House approval of unlimited donations from political parties to candidates, no limits on how much one person can give to different races within one election cycle, and a cap on Super PAC donations, among other problems.

Rep. Donna Sweaney, D-Windsor, White's counterpart as House Government Operations chair, said allowing political parties to donate as much as they like to candidates will ensure that parties have enough resources to battle Super PACs on fair terms.

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Tax Department prepares for TransCanada property disputes

Asks lawmakers for $150,000 to prepare for possible litigation

The state Tax Department is asking lawmakers for an extra $150,000 to prepare for potential litigation by TransCanada against five towns on the Connecticut River - including Vernon and Rockingham - where the hydroelectric giant is disputing 2010 state property valuations. Tax Commissioner Mary Peterson explained to the House...

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TransCanada seeks to lower taxes for Bellows Falls dam

Corporate energy giant TransCanada is appealing the property value assessment of their Bellows Falls hydroelectric dam, seeking to reduce the property's value by $22 million, from about $108 million to $86 million. TransCanada first filed a grievance notice on June 7 with Rockingham town's Board of Listers for their...

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Vermont Yankee presents post-Fukushima safety, emergency plans

Vermont Yankee gave a detailed presentation on July 9 of safety and emergency changes in response to Japan's 2011 Fukushima disaster, in a quiet public hearing at the Statehouse attended by about a dozen people. Unlike last year's more crowded Vermont State Nuclear Advisory Panel (VSNAP) hearings, only three members of the public testified. Representing Vermont Yankee, Entergy's state liaison engineer Bernard Buteau gave a 45 minute presentation on how the plant and the nuclear industry is addressing concerns raised...

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