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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Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom, center, said in an email to employees Monday that their "anxiety" and "stress" over the prospect of a government shutdown is unncessary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The disagreement between Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders over using one-time surplus money to stabilize property tax rates is now in its fourth week. And Gov. Scott has vetoed the latest budget from lawmakers. We're hearing from administration officials on their take on the standoff.

At his campaign launch in Barre in May, Democrat James Ehlers touted his policy agenda as the most progressive of the candidates seeking the governor's seat in 2018.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

James Ehlers is one of four Democrats running for governor. We're talking with the candidate about his platform and his priorities as we head toward the state's Aug. 14 primary. 

Gov. Phil Scott discusses the Administration's property tax plan with Budget and Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin at the Statehouse on Tuesday afternoon
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he'll veto the newly passed state budget unless lawmakers agree not to increase the state's non-residential property tax rate.

Scott says he's giving legislative leaders until Thursday to find a solution that meets his requirements. But House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's not giving in to Scott's demands.

H. Brooke Paige
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

If you look at the list of statewide candidates in this year's election, there's something that will definitely catch your eye: H. Brooke Paige of Washington, Vermont is listed as a Republican candidate for six different state and federal offices.

The statehouse in spring.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

With very little debate, the Vermont Senate Thursday afternoon gave its final approval to a state budget for next year. But Gov. Phil Scott has vowed to veto the bill.

Castleton University has faced layoffs, one of the moves made by the Vermont State Colleges System to combat falling enrollments.
Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

Colleges throughout Vermont and New England are facing falling enrollments and rising costs. We're talking about how Vermont state colleges are dealing with this challenging combination.

Looking up at the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

In the midst of a political stalemate in Montpelier over the budget for the next year, what could end the disagreement between legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott? And how are Vermonters outside of the capitol understanding the dispute?

Retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis joins Vermont Edition to discuss compromise, politics and the public perception of the political gridlock gripping the statehouse.

The US Capitol building in Washington DC against a bright blue sky.
Tanarch / iStock

Dan Freilich, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, says incumbent Rep. Peter Welch has sponsored legislation that directly benefits companies that have contributed to Welch's re-election campaign. But Welch counters by saying the charges aren't true and that he's working to change the current campaign finance system.

Sen. Tim Ashe speaking during a 2016 special session.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / VPR

Legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott can't seem to agree on property tax rates or a state budget for next year. But they do agree that a state government shutdown on July 1 would be a disaster for Vermont.

Vermont Edition talks with Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe about efforts to settle this disagreement and avoid a shutdown. 

Rows of soda bottles with different color caps.
Kwangmoozaa / iStock

Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill into law that redistributes several million dollars from the state's uncollected bottle deposit fund into clean water programs.

Campaigns for statewide and legislative candidates are now officialy underway after the May 31 filing deadline.
Jason Doiy / iStock

The deadline to file for elected office in Vermont was Thursday, May 31, and now campaigns for statewide and legislative candidates are officially underway. Here are the candidates just one day after the state's filing deadline:

Hands using a calculator.
MangoStar_Studio / iStock

A coalition of 40 nonprofit groups says a proposed cap on tax credits for charitable contributions will have a devastating impact on their ability to offer services to Vermonters.

Gov-elect Phil Scott at a desk in 2016, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe at a 2017 press conference.
Pete Hirschfeld / VPR Files

Both House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe say a shutdown of state government on July 1 would be a disaster. And they've come up with a plan to avoid it.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman is calling on Gov. Phil Scott to compromise on his "no new taxes" pledge to help facilitate a compromise at the Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

On Friday night, Gov. Phil Scott formally vetoed the tax and budget bills. Administration officials say Scott rejected a new compromise proposal because it includes an increase on the non-residential statewide property tax rate and they say Scott will never agree to any plan that raises taxes on Vermonters.

Sen. Bernie Sanders talks on his phone as he departs after a vote on Gina Haspel to be CIA director, on Capitol Hill, Thursday, May 17, 2018 in Washington.
Alex Brandon / AP

After months of speculation, Sen. Bernie Sanders made it official this week that he will be seeking a third term in November. He also plans to campaign this summer and fall for progressive candidates across the country. And the rumors are swirling about another Sanders run for President in 2020. 

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman is calling on Gov. Phil Scott to compromise on his "no new taxes" pledge to help facilitate a compromise at the Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Will Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders be able to reach an agreement on property taxes and next year's state budget?

We're talking with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman about efforts to find a way forward before state government might have to be shut down on July 1.

Looking up at the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott will meet again at the Statehouse Wednesday morning for a special session of the Vermont Legislature. 

Sanders announced in an email Monday morning he'll be seeking a third term in office. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he will announce his re-election plans on Monday
Charlie Neibergall / AP

On Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders is expected to announce plans to seek a third term in the U.S. Senate. But Sanders says he also intends to actively campaign this summer and fall for a number of Democratic candidates across the country.

Then-Sen. Phil Scott, right, takes then-Sen. Bill Doyle for a racecar drive back in June 2001. Both have helmets on, Doyle is smiling and giving a thumbs up.
Alden Pellett / Associated Press

The longest serving state senator in Vermont history has now retired from his day job.

After teaching political science at Johnson State College for 60 years, former state Sen. Bill Doyle retired earlier this month.

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