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 and Essex Police at Essex High School during an April 2017 school lockdown.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

School shootings across the country—and a potentially averted shooting in Vermont—spurred Gov. Phil Scott to call for a security review for all Vermont schools. We're looking at the assessment's results and the holes it identified in school safety. 

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
Angela Evancie / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given unanimous approval to legislation that updates the state's domestic terrorism laws as a way to help thwart future mass shootings.

Scott Pruitt stands in front of an American flag and an EPA sign at a press conference in Washington, D.C. on April 3, 2018.
Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

All three members of Vermont's congressional delegation are calling on the head of the Environmental Protection Agency to resign, because they say that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has failed to protect the nation's environment and they charge that Pruitt has engaged in unethical conduct while in office.

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

Lawmakers were busy this week considering different ways to change Vermont's criminal justice laws in an effort to thwart future cases of mass violence.

And new information has emerged as to why former Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe resigned earlier this month.

What can state agencies like DAIL, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, do to help Vermonters age well?
AleksandarNakic / iStock

The coming decades will bring pivotal demographic changes to Vermont as baby boomers retire in greater numbers and continue to get older. We're talking with DAIL—the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living—about their plans to help Vermonters "age well."

Senate Judiciary chairman Dick Sears is looking to modify Vermont's domestic terrorism laws as a way to deal with future cases of violence
Angela Evancie / VPR File

After a Vermont Supreme Court ruling last week said Jack Sawyer could not be held without bail because his actions did not constitute "an attempt" to commit a crime, the Senate Judiciary Committee is exploring the state's domestic terrorism law as a way to charge similar crimes in the future.

Illustration of a hand holding a dollar sign between thumb and forefinger.
mhatzapa / iStock.com

The Vermont Senate has approved legislation that prohibits employers from asking applicants about their salary history. Backers say it would help reduce the pay gap between men and women.

Hackers are getting increasingly sophisticated in their methods for going after your information and money.
Ijubaphoto / iStock

It's a new state agency that most people have never heard of and its primary job is to protect all of the state's computer systems and data from a cyber attack. Agency secretary John Quinn says it's an ongoing and relentless battle.

Incumbent Rep. Peter Welch faces two challengers for the Democratic nomination for his seat.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press File

Rep. Peter Welch has joined a bipartisan effort of House members who want to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump.

"Vermont Edition" hears from GOP Legislative leaders on some of the key issues that remain to be decided in the final weeks of the biennium.
Ric Cengeri / VPR

The end of the Legislative session looms, but there is still time for movement on a number of key issues. We get input on education funding, financing clean water efforts, the state minimum wage and paid family leave from the Republican legislative leadership.

Gov. Phil Scott signed the gun bill into law at contentious ceremony at the Statehouse in April. A gun rights group says several provisions in the new law violate the Vermont Constitution.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

S.55, a bill that became the unexpected hot-button issue of the session so far, was signed into law Wednesday on the steps of the Vermont Statehouse.

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.

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