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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The House chamber of the Vermont Legislature
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Lawmakers will be back at the Statehouse on Monday to try and find a budget settlement with Gov. Phil Scott. But that job got a lot harder after a bizarre set of events unfolded late Friday night in the House.

A protester outside the White House in Washington, D.C., Thursday. Members of the Vermont House voted Friday to oppose a decision by the Trump Administration to separate children from undocumented parents at the border.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The Vermont House has given its tri-partisan approval to a resolution that strongly opposes a decision by the Trump Administration to separate undocumented parents from their children along the Mexican border.

A photograph of the first page of a Vermont State Police training bulletin.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's new marijuana law — allowing possession of a limited amount of the drug — goes into effect on July 1. The Vermont State Police has issued a training bulletin on how they plan to handle the new legislation, including some changes in how state troopers will deal with drivers.

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

The Vermont Senate has given its unanimous approval to a new state budget for next year.

Senate leaders say the plan is a fair compromise that's designed to ensure that there isn't a government shutdown at the beginning of July.

Brenda Siegel is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.
courtesy of Brenda Siegel

Brenda Siegel of Newfane is one of the four candidates who will be on the ballot for the Democratic nomination for governor. She describes herself as a low-income single mother, and says the perspective of people like her is lacking in government right now. We're talking to her about her platform and why she’s running.

The statehouse in spring.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

By June 30, Vermont needs a budget — otherwise there could be a government shutdown on the first day of the state's new fiscal year.

Here's what could be closed by a state government shutdown, and what still being done in Montpelier to avert a shutdown.
seyfettinozel / iStock

The current state budget funds Vermont till the end of the day June 30, and Montpelier has yet to work out a plan for next year. Here's what could happen if Vermont is forced to "shut down" July 1.

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 won the GOP nomination to six statewide offices in Vermont’s primary election. He has withdrawn from five of the six races he won.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

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.

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