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.

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.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has rejected the bulk of the budget-cutting package Gov. Peter Shumlin has pressed them to adopt – for now at least.

Senate lawmakers will head to the floor today to give final approval to a fiscal year 2016 spending plan. Shumlin sought $8 million in last-minute reductions, but Caledonia Sen. Jane Kitchel said Friday morning there are too many unanswered questions about how Shumlin’s proposal would impact various programs.

A couple weeks ago, a message went out on Mont Holly's listserv from someone who found a cache of used hypodermic needles along a roadside when the snowbanks receded. The Black River Area Community Coalition responded to the post and stated that law enforcement officials had cleaned up the site.

Selectman George McNaughton wants to give the Springfield Police Department “another tool on their tool belt” to fight drug crime in town.

McNaughton and Selectwoman Stephanie Thompson, members of the town’s ordinance subcommittee, met Wednesday afternoon to discuss the possibility of what McNaughton has dubbed a “drug den ordinance.” Violations would be civil, not criminal.

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