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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Gov. Phil Scott has called for a special session to resolve the budget standoff in Montpelier.
John Dillon / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott has called lawmakers back to Montpelier for a special session next week to resolve the standoff over the state budget and property tax rates. We're convening a roundtable of political reporters to discuss what might happen next.

Sen. Bernie Sanders raises his hand during a Senate Committee on Veteran Affairs hearing
Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he'll formally announce his re-election plans next week and says he has more to accomplish as a U.S. senator.

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he's confident that he'll be able to reach an agreement with Democratic leaders in an upcoming Special Session over the issue of education spending. But Scott says raising property tax rates will definitely not be part of any agreement.

An impasse on Gov. Scott's education plan could lead to the calling of a special legislative session.
Meg Malone / VPR FILE

Strong disagreements between Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders in Montpelier mean that the future of the budget, and many other bills at the Statehouse, is still very much up in the air. So where is all of this headed?

Gov. Phil Scott joins "Vermont Edition" to share his thoughts on key issues still being debated in the legislature.
Henry Epp / VPR FILE

It's that frantic time in Montpelier when lawmakers and the administration face the crunch to pass a budget as well as other lingering bills. We talk to Gov. Phil Scott about the continuing budget standoff and what he would like to see on his desk before the end of the biennium.

Lawmakers gathered in the Senate at the kickoff of the biennium in 2017. Now, lawmakers will return for a special session next week.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The Vermont Senate has given its final approval to the paid family leave bill. But the measure has an uncertain future because it's likely that Gov. Phil Scott will veto the legislation.

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation strongly oppose President Trump's decision to pull out of a nuclear agreement with Iran
Toby Talbot / AP

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation have strongly criticized President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal.

The Vermont Legislature has still not reached an agreement with the Gov.'s office in Montpelier.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Money for the session runs out on Saturday, but adjournment looks very uncertain because there are a number of major disputes looming between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic leaders at the Vermont Statehouse.

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

On Monday, the Vermont Senate gave its unanimous approval to legislation that backers hope will significantly reduce sexual harassment in the workplace.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

As Vermont's sole statesman in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Peter Welch deals with consequential issues that affect his home state and the country.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

With a vote of 141 to 2, the Vermont House has given its strong support to a bill that's designed to significantly reduce the cost of expensive prescription drugs.

Gov. Scott delivered his 2018 budget address before a joint session of the Vermont Legislature.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

The administration of Gov. Phil Scott says Vermont can reduce payroll expenses in public schools by more than $250 million over the next five years, without imposing a legislative mandate that requires districts to adhere to new staffing ratios.

PIlls on a tabletop.
Tomas Nevesely / i-stock

Several dozen Vermont towns are taking part Saturday in a national project to collect unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs. 

State and Essex Police at Essex High School during an April 2017 school lockdown.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

School shootings across the country—and a potentially averted shooting in Vermont—spurred Gov. Phil Scott to call for a security review for all Vermont schools. We're looking at the assessment's results and the holes it identified in school safety. 

Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, backs bill to expand domestic terrorism law to deal with cases like the alleged incident at Fair Haven Union High School
Angela Evancie / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given unanimous approval to legislation that updates the state's domestic terrorism laws as a way to help thwart future mass shootings.

Scott Pruitt stands in front of an American flag and an EPA sign at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on April 3, 2018.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation are calling on the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to resign, because they say that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has failed to protect the nation's environment and they charge that Pruitt has engaged in unethical conduct while in office.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

Lawmakers were busy this week considering different ways to change Vermont's criminal justice laws in an effort to thwart future cases of mass violence.

And new information has emerged as to why former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe resigned earlier this month.

What can state agencies like DAIL, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, do to help Vermonters age well?
AleksandarNakic / iStock

The coming decades will bring pivotal demographic changes to Vermont as baby boomers retire in greater numbers and continue to get older. We're talking with DAIL—the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living—about their plans to help Vermonters "age well."

Senate Judiciary chairman Dick Sears is looking to modify Vermont's domestic terrorism laws as a way to deal with future cases of violence
Angela Evancie / VPR File

After a Vermont Supreme Court ruling last week said Jack Sawyer could not be held without bail because his actions did not constitute "an attempt" to commit a crime, the Senate Judiciary Committee is exploring the state's domestic terrorism law as a way to charge similar crimes in the future.

Illustration of a hand holding a dollar sign between thumb and forefinger.
mhatzapa / iStock.com

The Vermont Senate has approved legislation that prohibits employers from asking applicants about their salary history. Backers say it would help reduce the pay gap between men and women.

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