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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Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman addresses supporters of a tax-and-regulate marijuana legalization plan at the Statehouse on Tuesday.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Supporters of a plan to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana are making it clear that the current legalization bill being considered by Vermont lawmakers is just one small step in a much broader effort.

Rep. Peter Welch is joined outside by members of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers on Monday in calling for a repeal of the federal ethanol mandate.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Rep. Peter Welch is renewing his call to repeal a federal law that mandates that most gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol.

Welch says the ethanol mandate has been an environmental and economic disaster and is wreaking havoc on the small engines that Vermonters use for work and recreation.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he wants to overturn a new Trump Administration policy that calls on the Department of Justice to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana
Office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, courtesy / file

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he strongly opposes a decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to have the Department of Justice crack down on states that have legalized marijuana and Leahy says he will do everything that he can to block this new policy from going into place.

Sen. Joe Benning (R- Caledonia, left), Sen. Francis Brooks (D-Washington, middle), and Sen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington) peruse a list of bills before the Senate on the first day of the 2018 Legislative session.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Lawmakers began the 2018 legislative session by putting landmark votes like legalizing marijuana at the top of their docket. Gov. Phil Scott outlined his own goals for the new year in his Thursday State of the State address.

The Vermont House has voted to prohibit the holding of "coyote killing" tournaments
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

A plan to legalize the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana cleared an important hurdle Thursday evening when the Vermont House gave its approval to the legislation by a vote of 81 to 63.

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 says he will announce his re-election plans on Monday
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.

A coalition of 40 nonprofit organizations is urging lawmakers not to cap tax credits for charitable contributions
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.

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