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

Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to know why Facebook allowed a political consulting firm to obtain the personal information of over 50 million of its customers
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy says a decision by Facebook to allow a political consulting firm to obtain profiles of more than 50 million consumers during the 2016 presidential election constitutes a "major national security issue."

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

A big week for gun control at the Statehouse culminated in a day-long debate over a bill that would raise the age at which Vermonters could purchase guns, ban bump stocks, require universal background checks and restrict magazine capacity. 

We're asking Sen. Patrick Leahy about some of the latest developments from Washington.
Jose Luis Magana / AP

Sen. Patrick Leahy joins us to talk about what the new national omnibus spending bill means for Vermont. Plus, the Mueller investigation and what may be coming on gun control - and we take your questions.

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 it's likely he'll veto an education financing bill that was passed by the Vermont House.

The governor’s comments potentially set up a confrontation with Democratic legislative leaders that’s similar to a situation that happened last year.

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
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

During the course of the week, the House is scheduled to review a Senate bill that raises the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here in his Montpelier office on the one year anniversary into his two-year gubernatorial term.
Henry Epp / VPR

In an interview with Vermont Edition Friday, Gov. Phil Scott said he'll run for reelection.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In his second year in office, Gov. Phil Scott has called for limited spending and shared his change of heart on gun control laws. We're talking with the Governor about the surprises and changing priorities in Montpelier in 2018, and what he wants to accomplish in the rest of the legislative session.

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

The legislature is nearing its Town Meeting Day break. At this halfway mark, we're talking to top political reporters on the status of key bills, including gun control, education financing, paid family leave, raising the minimum wage and water quality efforts.

Vermont State trooper cars parked.
Steve Zind / VPR file

The Vermont House has given initial approval to a bill that would allow law enforcement officers to administer a saliva test that would indicate the presence of certain drugs, including marijuana.

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

There are three ways at the moment that Vermont House members can vote on a bill or an amendment to a bill. But there's also talk of introducing an electronic voting system that could shake things up in Montpelier.

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

When it comes to taking action on gun control legislation, Rep. Peter Welch says he believes this time is different.

Sec. of State Jim Condos discusses how states like Vermont could be vulnerable to election meddling, and what's needed to secure future elections.
Toby Talbot / AP File

Thirteen Russians face indictments for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. Last year, the Department of Homeland Security identified more than 20 states whose voting systems were compromised by Russian hackers. As they face concerns over election integrity both inside and outside the ballot box, how are Vermont officials keeping future elections secure?

A coyote walks in snowy wooded area.
LeFion / iStock

The ban on “holding or participating" in coyote-killing tournaments was included in a major fish and wildlife bill that passed the Vermont House this week.

Phil Scott puts his right hand up and is sworn in as Vermont's governor at the Montpelier Statehouse in January 2017.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Longtime VPR reporter Bob Kinzel is ready to answer your questions about the inner workings of the Legislature, state government and Vermont's political history.

Today's question was originally sent to our podcast, Brave Little State and inquires about the length of the state's gubernatorial term.

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

VPR reporter Bob Kinzel has been covering the Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature.

To take advantage of that institutional memory, we're kicking off a new periodic segment called "Ask Bob." First up: a look at the increasing number of lobbyists in the Vermont Statehouse.

John Minchillo / AP

NPR is reporting that "a federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities in connection with the attack on the 2016 presidential election."

Included in the indictment are details of how the accused allegedly used social media to disseminate information in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders' and Donald Trump's presidential campaigns.

According to the Vermont Commission on Women, 75 percent of women who report sexual harassment in the workplace say they've experienced retaliation for speaking up.
Kameleon007 / iStock

Sixty percent of women say they've experienced sexual harassment at work, according to the Vermont Commission on Women, and three out of four of those women report experiencing retaliation for speaking up. Now House lawmakers are updating Vermont's sexual harassment laws to protect victims' rights and ban settlements that can silence victims and favor employers.

The Vermont Senate has voted for a bill that raises the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over a 6 year period
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that increases the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over a 6 year period.

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Brad Peacock says he's running for Sanders' senate seat because Sanders is encouraging young people to get involved in politics
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Sen. Bernie Sanders has encouraged young people to get involved in politics, and one Vermonter has answered that call — by challenging the sitting senator for his place in the U.S. Senate.

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

A proposal is being developed representing the first major change to education financing in Vermont in over a decade, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's committed to making it a reality.

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