- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 15, 2014

More highlights of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s $1.44 billion proposal for the state budget that would take effect in July, up 3.56 percent over the current budget:

- Adds 18 new state employees, including an electrical inspector, a fire safety officer, a captive insurance marketing position and two meat inspectors;

- A 2 percent increase in reimbursement for Medicaid providers;

- Includes funding for the expected opening this summer of the Vermont Psychiatric Hospital in Berlin, the replacement of the Vermont State Hospital, which was abandoned after Tropical Storm Irene;

- Includes $2.5 million to implement a phased-in plan to help pay for retired teachers’ health insurance. The plan is being developed with the state treasurer in partnership with teachers and school teachers;

- increases higher education funding by 2 percent.

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