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.

Ways to Connect

Ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant in Seattle on June 25, 2014.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File

Lawmakers are getting ready to debate and vote on the highly controversial issue of marijuana possession right at the start of the new session.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe says finding ways to reduce the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority for him in the new session
Angela Evancie / VPR FILE

Lawmakers return to Montpelier on Wednesday to tackle a number of key issues during the 2018 session. One bill that will receive close scrutiny could significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs for all Vermonters.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is urging Congress to release nearly $400 million from a special fund to help states upgrade their voting systems to protect them from future cyberattacks.

Although many vote tabulators in Vermont are 20 years old, Condos says it would be extremely difficult for anyone to hack into these machines.

Senate Health and Welfare chairwoman Sen. Claire Ayer is backing a plan to allow Vermont to purchase some prescription drugs from Canada at much lower costs
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Legislative leaders say they plan to take a close look at a proposal to require that all Vermonters have health insurance.

The Green Mountain Care Board has approved a proposal that it hopes will revolutionize how health care providers are reimbursed in Vermont.

Retro cassette tapes piled in front of a patterned wallpaper.
DutchScenery / iStock

It's almost time to take down that 2017 calendar, but before Vermont Edition takes a break ahead of the new year, it's time for the annual music show.

Vermont Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille, pictured here in Sept. 2017
Bob Kinzel / VPR File

The Scott Administration says it's concerned Congress will not fully fund two important health care programs in the coming year. If it doesn't the state may have to find the money to put into the programs.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he regrets calling for the resignation of senator Al Franken before the Senate Ethics committee had a change to fully investigate the matter
Toby Talbot / AP/File

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he has had a change of heart concerning the political future of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken and he now regrets calling for Franken's resignation.

Sen. Bernie Sanders 2018 re-election campaign could lay the groundwork for another presidential run in 2020
Charlie Neibergall / AP

One of Bernie Sanders biggest complaints during the 2016 Democratic presidential race was the influence of so-called superdelegates. Before the primaries even started, Hillary Clinton had more than 400 of these superdelegates backing her candidacy. Sanders says it's system that has to change.

"Vermont Edition" hears arguments for and against a carbon tax plan that will affect gasoline and heating oil prices.
Predrag Vuckovic / iStock

A carbon tax in Vermont has been floated before, but never gained much traction. But a new proposal - dubbed The ESSEX Plan - is going before lawmakers in 2018.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they're reviewing the policies that each chamber uses to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe have outlined their key priorities for the legislative session that begins in January.

Senators Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy are actively working to defeat the new GOP tax bill
401(k) 2013 / Flickr

Vermont's two U.S. senators, Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy, are hoping to persuade several Republican senators to vote against the GOP tax bill, but they admit it will be an uphill battle.

State officials are ramping up their outreach efforts to alert Vermonters that this Friday is the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act
crazydiva / iStock

The additional outreach efforts are taking place because the overall enrollment period this year for the Affordable Care Act is much shorter than past years — ending on Friday.

Illustration: Amanda Shepard / istock

Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce told Vermont Edition host Bob Kinzel that national and state-level data "should be very concerning for every single citizen." 

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passage of a property tax reform package is a top priority for this session
Angela Evancie / VPR file

How will Vermont control education spending? Solving that puzzle will be on House Speaker Mitzi Johnson's docket as she heads into the 2018 legislative session, especially as Gov. Phil Scott considers higher staff-to-student ratios.

At his weekly press conference, Governor Phil Scott expressed strong concerns about the House and Senate Republican tax plans being considered in Congress
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Governor Phil Scott says he has grave concerns about the two Republican tax bills being considered in Congress.

Rep. Peter Welch wants House Republican leaders to hold a vote on several gun control proposals
AP/Toby Talbot

Vermont Democratic Rep. Peter Welch voted against legislation approved by the U.S. House that's been identified as a top priority of the National Rifle Association.

Gov. Phil Scott says it would be possible to avoid a statewide property tax increase by mandating a higher student to staff ratio
skynesher / iStock

Lawmakers are facing a situation in 2018 that they usually try to avoid: supporting a significant increase in the state's property tax rate in an election year.

Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott told Vermont Edition Friday that he will support efforts to legalize the personal possession of marijuana in the opening weeks of the 2018 legislative session.

Angela Evancie / VPR FILE

Live call-in discussion: Gov. Phil Scott closes out the year with a long to-do list for 2018. Friday on Vermont Edition, we're taking your calls and questions as we ask the governor about budgets, taxes, and his priorities for the coming year.