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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State Marijuana Commission To Issue Report To Governor In 2018

Sen. Bernie Sanders says now is the time to begin debating the merits of his "Medicare for all" health care plan.
Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to make his "Medicare for all" health care plan a top priority for the Democrats in the 2018 elections. But a number of moderate Democrats worry this approach will hurt their chances of winning seats in Congress next year.

Gov. Scott's Marijuana Commission is trying to decide what legalization should look like in Vermont.
Labuda / iStock

Earlier this year, Gov. Phil Scott created a special commission to study the possibility of approving recreational marijuana use in Vermont. The commission began meeting in late September.

AP/Toby Talbot

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say a new Republican tax plan in Washington will provide wealthy Americans with a huge tax cut while raising taxes on some middle income people.

State officials say Vermont Health Connect has resolved many of its techincal issues
Screenshot of the Vermont Health Connect website

Officials say the technical problems at Vermont Health Connect have been largely resolved as the health exchange's open enrollment period begins on Wednesday.

On this "Vermont Edition," we look at the performance of Vermont Health Connect, which had many problems when it first went online.
screenshot from Vermont Health Connect

As Congress debates the future of the Affordable Care Act, a new enrollment period begins next week. We take this opportunity to assess how Vermont Health Connect is faring today after the series of technical problems that has riddled it in the past.

Joyce Manchester, a senior economist at the Legislative Joint Fiscal Office says the end of federal subsidies under the Affodable Care Act should not affect the benefits that 12 thousand Vermonters receive from this program
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that his administration was going to terminate federal subsidies that are paid to health insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is backing efforts to release long held documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he supports the release tens of thousands of documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has created a cybersecurity team to defend the state against repeated cyber attacks. "Vermont Edition" looks at the problems the team hopes to prevent.
Henrik5000 / iStock

Governor Phil Scott has some serious concerns about Vermont's cyber safety. He recently noted that since January, the state has had 3.3 million cyber attacks, or an average of 524 per hour for the last nine months.

Earlier this month, Scott signed an executive order creating a cybersecurity team.

Green Mountain Care Board chairman Kevin Mullin is calling on Congress to keep the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The head of the Green Mountain Care Board is calling on Congress to restore the individual subsidies to the Affordable Care Act that have been eliminated by President Donald Trump.

The Scott administration faces a year-end decision on the future of public safety communications. This could also affect broadband and cellular service in the state.

Boxes of food are seen being prepared for distribution in Enosburg Falls, Vt., in this Nov. 18, 2010 file photo. An estimated one-fourth of Vermonters will receive some form of food assistance this year.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

Local food shelves across the state have been seeing an increase in demand this fall. John Sayles, CEO of the Vermont Foodbank, joins Vermont Edition to discuss reasons for this increase in demand and explain how local organizations are dealing with it.  

This Feb. 1, 2013, file photo shows a "bump stock" next to a disassembled .22-caliber rifle at North Raleigh Guns in Raleigh, N.C. A similar device was used by the gunman in Las Vegas who killed 58 people
Allen Breed / Associated Press

Rep. Peter Welch says he's disappointed that House Speaker Paul Ryan has decided not to pursue legislation that would ban the devices used in the Las Vegas shootings that allow semi automatic rifles to function more as automatic weapons.

AP/Toby Talbot

With the demise of recent Republican efforts in Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, all three members of Vermont's delegation are backing bipartisan efforts to strengthen the law.

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge strikes out swinging against Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen during the eighth inning of Game 1 of a baseball American League Division Series, Thursday in Cleveland.
David Dermer / AP

The most exciting part of the baseball season has begun – it’s the playoffs! Eight teams are battling to play in the World Series.

Will the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox meet in the American League Championship Series? Our special sports panel will discuss the outlook for the playoff teams.

Rep. Peter Welch backs plan to end secrecy of settlements in cases of sexual harassment involving members of Congress
Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Rep. Peter Welch is backing legislation to prohibit the sale of devices that turn semi-automatic rifles into weapons that allow shooters to fire hundreds of rounds per minute.

AP/Toby Talbot

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say they'll oppose President Trump's tax plan because it favors the richest Americans.

The Green Mountain Care Board is now under the direction of Kevin Mullin, a former Rutland state senator.
SteveColeImages / iStock

After Al Gobeille was selected to lead Vermont's Agency of Human Services, Rutland State Sen. Kevin Mullin was chosen to succeed Gobeille as chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board.

We're talking with Mullin about a payment reform plan the board is considering that changes how health care providers are reimbursed.

Some sparse shelves are visible at the Montpelier Food Pantry on Tuesday. They saw a spike in demand over the summer months, according to executive director Jaime Bedard.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Officials at organizations providing food assistance to Vermonters say a sluggish state economy might be one of the reasons why demand at many local food shelves has risen in the past few months.

Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille says Vermont would lose more than $200 million a year under the new Republican health care bill.
VPR / Bob Kinzel

Most estimates conclude that Vermont would be one of the hardest hit states on a per capita basis by the proposed Graham-Cassidy health care bill.

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