Lawmakers Echo Snyder Call For Better Broadband, Mental Health Treatment

Lawmakers Echo Snyder Call For Better Broadband, Mental Health Treatment

State Representative Mary Whiteford, of Casco Township, is happy part of Tuesday night’s State of the State address focused on mental health issues. She tells our newsroom helping folks get treatment is certainly a priority for her.

“My daughter works in an emergency room in Holland, and so many people come in who are having mental health break downs, trying to find beds for them and trying to find support,” Whiteford said. “It happens. Most of the time, people don’t ask for help.”

Whiteford also is glad the governor talked about infrastructure and expanding access to broadband internet in rural areas, a thought shared by state Representative Beth Griffin.

Griffin tells us internet is practically no different from any other utility you’d need in your home.

“Kids nowadays need access to Wi-Fi or internet for most school assignments the older that they get, and you’d be surprised that broadband access, you would think that in some rural areas it was better than it was,” Griffin said. “It’s really a problem.”

Griffin tells us people in her district talk to her about broadband access all of the time.

Both she and Whiteford plan to make the issue a top priority in the coming year.

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WVTK Local & State News March 1, 2016

It s Super Tuesday, which is primary election day in Vermont and several other states across the country. Local favorite Bernie Sanders is expected to easily defeat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Donald Trump is the frontrunner among Vermont Republicans, with senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz expected to pose the biggest challenge. It s also Town Meeting Day in Vermont. Polls across the state are open until 7 o clock. A Senate panel has approved a bill that would block state labeling requirements for genetically modified foods. The Senate Agriculture Committee voted 14-6 earlier today to prevent the labeling on packages of foods that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Vermont is set to require such labels this summer, and other states are considering similar laws. The bill would block Vermont s law and create new voluntary labels for companies that want to use them on food packages that contain genetically modified ingredients. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a new program that will provide high speed internet access for all New Yorkers by the end of 2018. The New NY Broadband Program s Consolidated Funding Application Portal is accepting applications from the private sector for the proposal requests. One of the key components of the program is new access to broadband speeds of at least 100 Mbps; 25 Mbps in the most remote areas of the state.

Green Mountain Power says homes and businesses are getting their electricity back after strong winds with gusts up to 85 miles an hour knocked out power to about 18,300 customers. Other utilities also had some outages. Service has been restored to most people, but GMP expects it will be late tonight before all of the repairs are complete. A new report indicates that Vermont is among the best states in the nation for women. The personal finance web site WalletHub ranked all 50 states on the economic and social well being of women, and on their health care and safety.

The site places Vermont as the second best place for women, with only Minnesota ranked higher.

Louisiana is the lowest ranked state on the list.