Bob Kinzel

Host, Reporter

Bob is a veteran Vermont journalist, specializing in political reporting. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse. Prior to joining VPR full time in 2002, Bob ran the Vermont News Service for 21 years. The service provided daily local news for eleven stations, including VPR. Bob started the News Service following a stint as news director for WNCS.

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Vermont's two U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders both strongly oppose the new GOP Senate health care plan
crazydiva / iStock

In many respects, the new health care bill proposed in the U.S. Senate follows the framework of a  GOP plan that passsed in the House last month.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Lawmakers could have overridden two vetoes when they returned to Montpelier on Wednesday. The governor's veto of a pot legalization bill stands, but legislators did strike a deal to approve the state budget. However, their compromise with Gov. Phil Scott puts school boards on the hook to find cost savings.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here at a press conference in Montpelier in late May, says he didn't ask House Republicans to support a rules suspension during the veto session that would have allowed a new marijuana legalization bill to be debated on the floor.
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he didn't encourage lawmakers to support the marijuana legalization bill during this week's veto session because passage of the legislation was not a high priority for him.

Many House Republicans and some Democrats voted to block consideration of a new marijuana bill.
Ted S. Warren / AP

Backers of a new marijuana legalization bill say they’re very disappointed that many members of the House Republican caucus and a number of Democrats voted to block consideration of the legislation in Wednesday’s veto session.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, seen here speaking on the floor of the U.S. Senate about the Keystone pipeline at a previous date, says he will support a plan to slow down the Senate in protest of Republican efforts to craft a health care bill.
Office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, courtesy / file

Sen. Patrick Leahy is strongly supporting Democratic Senate Leaders' plan to protest the secrecy surrounding Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act by slowing down the business of the Senate.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

This week, lawmakers in Montpelier will hold a special veto session to address the big issues where agreement couldn't be reached before adjournment. Vermont Edition talks to top political reporters about days of behind-the-scenes negotiations between lawmakers and the Scott administration – and what any possible deals on the budget and marijuana legalization could look like.

Vermont's two U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders both strongly oppose the new GOP Senate health care plan
crazydiva / iStock

There were very few issues during the legislative session that were as partisan and divisive as the fight over teachers health care.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Disagreement over health care contracts for employees at public schools prompted next week's veto session, but it's not clear if the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers will be able to bridge the divide between them on this issue.

Courtesy Bloomsbury Academic

Former House Speaker John McCormack might be the most important political leader most people don't remember - or may not have even heard of. His time as a Massachusetts congressman spanned the presidencies of Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, and he served as Speaker of the House during the turbulent years from 1962-1971.

Members of Vermont's congressional delegation reacted with shock and horror to learn that a gunman targeted members of the Republican congressional baseball team on Wednesday.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is the senior member of two Senate committees that are investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials
Susan Walsh / AP File

Sen. Patrick Leahy is in a unique position among Senate Democratic leaders during the current session of Congress: He has the most seniority of any member of the Senate and serves as the senior ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations Committee.

Vermont lawmakers working on a bill to legalize marijuana say they have now presented a compromise to Gov. Phil Scott that would address many of the concerns he raised when he vetoed a legalization bill in May.
labuda / iStock

In May, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would legalize marijuana due to several public safety concerns. Now, lawmakers think they have a compromise that would win the governor's approval. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders, seen here at an April rally in Omaha, Neb,. will be taking your questions live Friday at noon.
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders joins Vermont Edition Friday to take your questions and discuss key issues being debated in Washington.

Former FBI director James Comey is greeted by Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C. at the beginning of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say they're troubled by the testimony of former F.B.I. director James Comey concerning Russian efforts to influence the outcome of last year's presidential campaign.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

These are uncertain times for many school boards across the state as they try to negotiate new labor contracts with local teachers unions.

Chittenden County Sen. Chris Pearson, left, wants Vermont to join a coalition of states seeking to affirm the United States' role in reducing global carbon emissions.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/file

President Donald Trump’s withdrawal this week from a landmark international agreement to combat climate change has sparked state-level efforts, including in Vermont, to uphold the United States’ role in a global pact to reduce carbon emissions.

Desmond Boylan / Associated Press

President Donald Trump has submitted a $4.1 trillion budget for fiscal year 2018. Sen. Patrick Leahy offers his reaction to the president's first federal budget.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here at a press conference in Montpelier in late May, says he didn't ask House Republicans to support a rules suspension during the veto session that would have allowed a new marijuana legalization bill to be debated on the floor.
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he's pleased by the progress that's being made to draft a compromise marijuana legalization bill that lawmakers could consider in the upcoming veto session.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Backers of a compromise plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana to have a proposal ready for lawmakers to consider when a special veto session begins on June 21. But they're concerned that no action will take place.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The two big issues for the upcoming veto session in June will be the future of a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and the fight over Gov. Phil Scott's plan to implement a statewide teachers' health care contract.

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