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

Outline of Vermont on top of collage of $1 bills.
Vepar5 / iStock.com

As we near the end of the legislative session, budget and tax issues are a focus at the Statehouse. VTDigger reporter Elizabeth Hewitt joins Vermont Edition to discuss the budget plans that were voted on in the House and Senate, as well as a recent proposal from the governor.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he's extremely concerned about the Trump Administration's policies with North Korea because he doesn't think the Administration has a well thought out strategy to discourage North Korea from developing a nuclear weapons missile system.

The Vermont Senate has rejected an effort to raise the age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21. The bill was defeated by three votes.

During the recent congressional recess, elected officials have faced angry crowds as their constituents questioned budget cuts and other priorities of the Trump Administration. Meanwhile, Vermont Rep. Peter Welch received a friendly, but concerned reception from constituents in East Montpelier.

Neal Goswami, the Vermont Press Bureau chief, spoke to Vermont Edition recently about what's happened during Gov. Phil Scott's first 100 days as governor. Plus, a look at where some legislative issues stand as the end of the session is in sight.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The 2017 legislative session is winding down. What initiatives will become top priorities in the final few weeks before adjournment?

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

Congress is on a two-week recess when many members are in their districts to hear from  constituents about major issues facing the country.  Vermont's sole congressional representative, Democrat Peter Welch, talks with VPR's Bob Kinzel and takes questions from Vermonters.

Steven Senne / AP

Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders sent an email to supporters asking them to make contributions to support a seven-state tour. The email also indicated for the first time that Sanders’ will seek re-election to a third term in the U.S. Senate.

Gov. Phil Scott says he wants to be sure road safety concerns are dealt with before approving a legal recreational marijuana market in Vermont.
La_Corivo / iStock.com

Prospects for a marijuana legalization bill passing out of Montpelier this year grew even dimmer Tuesday, when key Senate lawmakers said their body is exceedingly unlikely to support the plan being considered in House.

On this "Vermont Edition," we look at the performance of Vermont Health Connect, which had many problems when it first went online.
screenshot from Vermont Health Connect

Over the next six months, Gov. Phil Scott's Administration is set to examine a number of proposals that are designed to improve the reliability of Vermont Health Connect, the state's health care exchange.

Photo: Tupungato, iStock; Graphic: Emily Alfin Johnson, VPR

While many members of Congress are engaged in hyper-partisan activities in Washington these days, there is a group of roughly three dozen lawmakers, including Rep. Peter Welch, that is working to develop a collaborative approach to a number of key issues.

A group of fans, some wearing Boston Red Sox apparel, hold out baseballs to be autographed.
Michael Dwyer / AP

The opening week of baseball season means that winter is over (in some places) and that it's time for Vermont Edition's annual baseball show.

Senator Bernie Sanders says he strongly supports a decision by Democratic Senate leaders to filibuster, or indefinitely block, consideration of President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Backers of legislation that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years old to 21 years old are urging members of the Senate to support their bill.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sen. Patrick Leahy announced Monday morning that he will support an effort by Senate Democrats to filibuster the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

kmlmtz66 / iStock

A Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in Congress came with a warning that insurance markets will "explode" if the law is not fixed. But how much truth is in that claim, and how stable is Vermont's health care exchange?

The Vermont House has given its unanimous support to a tax bill that raises roughly $5 million in new revenue by implementing stronger enforcement efforts and without raising any existing taxes or fees.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press file

Vermont's two U.S. senators are opposing Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's pick to the Supreme Court. But the Senate is also on the verge of changing how it considers such controversial nominations in the future.

Congressman Peter Welch says he is “very relieved” that a Republican health care bill has been pulled from the House floor because House Speaker Paul Ryan lacked the votes to pass the legislation.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

We've been discussing the many challenges that the state mental health system and those experiencing mental illness are facing. Now we hear about some of the ideas that the Legislature has for fixing the problems.

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