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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Essex Orleans Democratic Sen. John Rodgers is running a write-in campaign to be the Democratic nominee for governor.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Opponents of a comprehensive gun control bill are making a last-minute effort to encourage Gov. Phil Scott to veto the legislation.

Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, arrives for a Capitol Hill Meeting with Sen. Bill Nelson on Monday. Later in the week, Zuckerberg will be testifying before members of Congress about how Facebook data was used in the 2016 election."
J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

Sen. Patrick Leahy says Congress should demand that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg give a full accounting about why the company allowed a political consulting firm to obtain profiles of more than 87 million of its users during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The Vermont Statehouse with a cloudy sky, with people gathering in front of the building.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Vermont lawmakers have given their unanimous approval to two additional gun control measures. Now those are headed to Gov. Phil Scott, who has previously announced support for the bills.

Two cranes lift the 14-foot statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, from the capitol dome as part of $2 million rennovation project.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The golden dome that crowns Vermont's capitol building is undergoing a $2 million renovation. We're looking at what the project will accomplish with Statehouse Curator David Schutz.

Washington County Sen. Anthony Pollina discusses the Progressive agenda in Montpelier.
AP/Toby Talbot

Progressive leaders in Montpelier began the legislative session with a plan for Vermonters to pay their school taxes based on their income, rather than the value of their property. The plan failed to gain traction in both the House and Senate. We're talking with Progressive leaders about how their agenda has been received in the Statehouse this year.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

Legislation creating paid family leave in Vermont has gotten a big boost at the Statehouse, as the head of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs says the proposal is a top priority for the panel.

However, the outlook for the bill is still uncertain because Gov. Phil Scott opposes the legislation.

The Roman goddess of Agriculture, Ceres, has been weathering the winter storms for over 70 years atop Vermont’s Statehouse in Montpelier. Monday, she decended (with the help of two cranes.)
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The 14-foot goddess of Agriculture was removed from the top of the Statehouse dome by crane Monday as the first step of a $2 million renovation campaign.

Two metallic silhouettes of heads, one with a brain inside and one with computer imagery.
onurdongel / iStock

Vermont lawmakers are considering legislation to create an artificial intelligence task force. If the bill wins final approval, Vermont will be the first state in the country to take this step.

Milo Cress, a junior at Champlain Valley Union High School, went to the Vermont Statehouse this winter to testify in favor of this bill.

Gov. Phil Scott tells reporters that he "fully intends to sign" the gun control bill passed by the Senate
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Moments after the Senate passed the gun control bill, Gov. Phil Scott met with a group of reporters in the lobby of his office in the Pavilion Office Building.

A blue-green illustration of a brain.
Jakarin2521 / iStock

As artificial intelligence continues to develop, concerns grow about its invasive nature and reach. How much are we willing to cede to the machines, and what effect will that have on our lives?

The Vermont House recently passed a bill that would create an AI commission to address these subjects.

Lawmakers gathered in the Senate at the kickoff of the biennium in 2017. Now, lawmakers will return for a special session next week.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

A weeks-long debate in the Vermont Legislature over controversial gun legislation came to end on Friday when the Senate held a final vote on a bill known as S.55.

Groundskeepers work on the field at AT&T Park during the San Francisco Giants media open house. MLB opening day is Thursday.
Eric Risberg / AP

Opening day means it's time for a Vermont Edition baseball show! We'll discuss the roster changes that took place over the winter, make predictions on who will win the pennant and discuss some of the rule changes being tried out at the minor league level to speed up the game.

Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe, left, and Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, Right with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and Gov. Phil Scott, center in January 2018.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Our veteran statehouse reporter Bob Kinzel is answering your questions about state government, history and politics.

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.

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