VPR

The Vermont Senate passed a budget and approved $34.2 million in new taxes last week - rejecting most most of the cuts proposed late in the game by Governor Shumlin. The Governor, meanwhile, quietly signed the gun bill that he called a "shadow" of the legislation that was originally proposed.

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Board has voted to make some changes to Vermont's hunting and fishing regulations.

Under the change, hunters over 50 will be allowed to use crossbows during the regular archery season. And in an effort to prevent chronic wasting disease, the board voted to ban natural deer urine lures.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he's optimistic that his plan to curtail the Obama Administration's electronic surveillance program will be approved by Congress in the coming weeks.

Unless Congress acts by the end of this month, the Patriot Act will expire. Included in the legislation is something known as Section 215. This provision gives the Obama Administration the authority to collect hundreds of millions of phone records in an effort to thwart a future terrorist attack.

Audio for this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, May 4

Nina Keck / VPR

It’s the classic Vermont conundrum: how to protect the picturesque quality of a community yet promote economic development? Right now it’s a debate that’s playing out in Dorset.

Steven Bryant walks across the grassy lawn of the Barrows House, an historic 19th-Century inn on six acres in Dorset.

Audio for this story will be posted at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday, May 4

Peter Hirshfeld / VPR

More than 500 protestors poured into the Statehouse this afternoon, demanding action from lawmakers and the governor. The demonstrators say elected officials aren’t doing enough to support poor and working-class Vermonters. And many say they’ve had enough with the Democratic supermajority that now controls Montpelier.

Gov. Peter Shumlin privately signed new gun legislation Friday afternoon without any fanfare. His office announced the move in a statement.

The new law, which passed the Legislature as S.141, creates a new misdemeanor state-level crime for possession of firearms by people with certain criminal convictions. The law also requires the reporting of names to a federal database when people are found by a court to be in need of mental health treatment and are deemed to be danger to themselves or others.

Alex Keefe / VPR

On Sunday, cyclists from around Vermont are expected to go for a ride that one of their own never had the chance to complete.

Richard Tom, 47, was killed after getting hit by a car last Sunday morning in Hinesburg. The driver of the car – 17-year-old Joseph Marshall – was also killed.

Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

A Vermont utility is among the first to offer a new storage battery hailed as a boon for residential solar power users.

Tesla, the company known for its fully electric cars, introduced a battery that stores energy from  residential solar installations.

Green Mountain Power is one of the first to sign on as a distributor for  Powerwall Batteries, despite the fact the technology could mean selling less power to its customers.

Sarah Boden

Bernie Sanders has officially filed papers with the Federal Elections Commission declaring his run for president as a Democrat, but his lack of party credentials may raise questions as he tries to get on the primary ballot in New Hampshire.

In his filing with the Federal Elections Committee Thursday, Sanders listed his party affiliation as “Democratic Party” and his “office sought” as “Presidential.”

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

After announcing his run for the Democratic nomination for president on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders joined VPR to talk about his campaign, the issues he's focusing on and his strategy for beating Hillary Clinton the primary.

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