A Chittenden County Superior Court judge denied today a Vermont State Employees Association request for a restraining order against the Douglas Administration. The state workers’ union sought the order against the administration to stop it from laying off more than 120 state employees, approximately 100 of whom were scheduled to begin departing state government today.In a written statement, VSEA Director Jes Kraus said: “Our heart goes out to the hundred employees who are being, in our views, unnecessarily forced out the jobs that they work so hard at. VSEA will continue pursuing every option available to us in our efforts to avoid more senseless layoffs.” In any case, the administration maintains that it has the right to layoff workers, as it always has, and will go ahead with its plan to do so. It expects the action to save about $13 million through this job action in the coming fiscal year. VSEA s complaint asserted that the layoffs violate the Appropriations Act, which went into effect June 2 over Governor Douglas’ veto. The Act specifically prohibits the administration from proceeding with layoffs unless they are first submitted as part of a plan that is vetted and approved by the Legislature s Joint Fiscal Committee. However, a companion bill passed Wednesday to the Act (the state budget) somewhat changed the language of that section. Attorney General Sorrell had offered an opinion to legislative leaders suggesting the language might be unconstitutional, which is a point Governor Douglas previously had made. Also at issue is that the state budget technically does not kick in until the start of the new fiscal year July 1, calling into question whether the layoff language, right or wrong, can even be applied during the current fiscal year. Nor has the governor signed nor vetoed the companion bill. In an effort to not have to file this lawsuit, VSEA did send a letter to Secretary Lunderville on Tuesday, asking the administration to rescind the RIFs, but we never heard back, said VSEA Director Kraus. That silence forced VSEA to take the action we will tomorrow (Thursday), as we believe the Legislature s veto override means the governor must now follow the law, whether he approves or not.
8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Financial crisis taught its importance and regulations are backing that up.Following the financial crisis of 2007, the industry recognized the need for stricter controls relegated to appraiser independence. All stakeholders in the mortgage lending sector experienced the result of appraisers being placed under pressure to “hit” specific property values, and the volume of overvalued homes was evident during the real estate bubble.Most appraisers did not give in to this pressure to meet specific sale or refinance values to receive further appraisal orders. However, it was clear that powers other than market-driven factors were directing appraised values beyond supported Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal -compliant practices, which placed the entire appraisal industry at risk.In April of 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and five other agencies issued a final rule to implement minimum requirements for state registration and supervision of appraisal management companies, which provide services to lenders, underwriters or other principals in the secondary mortgage markets.AMCs remain a key partner for many credit unions, and appraisal independence is one of the topics at the forefront of these requirements, which note that AMCs must establish policies and procedures to ensure compliance with appraisal independence standards. AMCs are required in every state to implement formal AIR policy and procedural controls, as they insulate the appraiser from undue influence from those within the real estate profession and loan production, who might influence values for personal gain. continue reading »