Peter Hirschfeld

Reporter

Peter Hirschfeld covers state government and the Vermont Legislature. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse.

Hirschfeld is a leading Vermont journalist who has covered the Statehouse since 2009, most recently as bureau chief for the Rutland Herald and Times Argus. He began his career in 2003, working as a local sports reporter and copy editor at the Times Argus.

Ways to Connect

Burlington Rep. Kurt Wright, left, and Caledonia County Sen. Joe Benning held a press conference at Burlington City Hall Monday. They say they'll push for legislation next year that would ban teacher strikes.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Burlington teacher strike is over, but it’s reignited a political debate that will run well into the next legislative session.

The Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. In a report to the federal government, Vermont disclosed that 17 inmates were sexually victimized in state-run prisons last year.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Seventeen inmates were “sexually victimized” in Vermont prisons last year, according to a recently filed disclosure by the Vermont Department of Corrections. 

Fran Brock, president of the Burlington Education Association, center, stands with picketing teachers outside Hunt Middle School Monday. Brock says elementary teachers need more time during the day to work with students, and develop lesson plans.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A teacher strike that began last Thursday has emptied school classrooms in Vermont’s largest city, but the head of the Burlington teachers’ union says the walk-out isn’t about money or benefits.

Montpellier's Ellyes Skhiri, right, vies for the ball against Lyon's Rafael Pereira Da Silva during a French League One game in Decines on Sept. 21, 2016. The Montpellier soccer team is sending a shipment of misspelled jerseys to Montpelier, Vermont.
Laurent Cipriani / Associated Press

In 1781, the city of Montpelier, Vermont, got its name from Montpellier, France. Now, Vermont’s capital is about to get something else from that French city: a shipment of soccer jerseys.

Aides to Vermont's congressional delegation briefed lawmakers Thursday on the federal budget situation. Kathryn Becker Van Haste, center, says a key piece of funding for a widely used health care program is set to expire at the end of the month.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont has so far dodged most of the federal spending cuts that many state lawmakers had feared, but the state is potentially only weeks away from a  severe hit to a widely used health care program.

Steve Agius is refuge manager at the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. Gov. Phil Scott has told the federal government that he has "concerns" about plans to expand the refuge.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A proposal to expand a U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge in northeast Vermont has stirred up long-running tensions between conservationists and the Vermont timber industry.

A new legislative committee is meeting this summer and fall to improve the state's response to the issue of childhood trauma.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

As research shows an increasingly powerful correlation between childhood trauma and addiction, incarceration and even early death, a new legislative panel is trying to improve the state’s response to the issue.

A moose in the Nulhegan Basin Division of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Brunswick, Vt. Gov. Phil Scott is raising concerns about a plan by the federal government to expand the refuge.
U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service / Flickr

Gov. Phil Scott says he’s “very apprehensive” about a plan by the federal government to expand a U.S. Fish and Wildlife refuge in northeast Vermont.

Mike Stewart / AP

State officials are urging Vermonters to find out whether they’re among the 143 million people affected by a massive data breach at Equifax. But experts say it's unclear if the website established by the company in response to the breach requires consumers to waive their right to sue over the incident.

Gov. Phil Scott, left, announced the recipients of $2.7 million in downtown tax credits Wednesday. Montpelier Mayor John Hollar, center, says renovations on the city's historic French Block, seen in the background, wouldn't go forward without the money.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Twenty-two construction projects across Vermont will share $2.7 million in state tax incentives.

Clean water advocates paddled the North Branch River in Montpelier Thursday morning to urge lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott to pump more money into pollution-reduction initiatives.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Clean water advocates took to the North Branch River in downtown Montpelier Thursday to push for long-term funding for pollution-reduction measures.

The George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, pictured here on Tuesday, has become a shelter for people displaced by flooding caused by Harvey.
LM Otero / Associated Press

Emergency management officials in Vermont say the surest way to aid the relief effort in Texas is to send cash to a respected charity.

Green Mountain Care Board Chairman Kevin Mullin says the state needs to attach tighter strings to public money being received by Vermont Information Technology Leaders.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board says he wants to see “meaningful changes” in “staff and operations” at the private organization creating electronic medical records for the Vermont health care system.

Earlier this summer, photos of Christopher Hayden were posted at the Vt. Democratic Party's Montpelier offices after Hayden sent death threats to the party's Vermont chairman, Faisal Gill. Hayden has recently been sending racist emails to state lawmakers.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

A Burlington man has been directing a barrage of racist emails to members of the Vermont Legislature.

Tom Kavet, an economist working for the Vermont Legislature, says there are challenges to forecasting the economic effects of a $15 minimum wage.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

As the Vermont Legislature prepares for a debate next year over raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, lawmakers are trying to figure out how the proposal would affect the Vermont economy.

The Tram Haus Lodge at Jay Peak was one project invested in by foreign investors through the EB-5 program. In an Aug. 14 letter, the federal government said it plans to shut down the "Vermont Regional Center" that oversees the EB-5 program.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

In June, the victims of one of the largest alleged frauds in state history filed a lawsuit against the state of Vermont. Last week, their case might have gotten a boost from an unlikely ally: the federal government.

Earlier this summer, the state's economist told the Vermont Legislature that the revenue forecast for the rest of the year had been downgraded to the tune of $28 million.

Some of that gap had already been anticipated and addressed by lawmakers, but Gov. Phil Scott had to come up with a plan for how to cut the remainder out of the current budget. Last Thursday, Scott presented his plan to the LegislatureVermont Edition spoke with VPR's Peter Hirschfeld about how it went.

Adam Greshin, commissioner of finance for the Scott administration, testified before lawmakers Thursday. Greshin says the administration's revised spending plan will plug a $12.6 million revenue gap without impacting government services.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

This year has featured some intense political battles over how to balance the state budget, but Vermont’s latest fiscal challenge wasn't one of them.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR/file

Seven Vermont counties hit by severe flooding earlier this summer will get federal assistance for storm clean up and infrastructure repairs.

Paul Costello, left, and Peter Walke, are co-chairs of the governor's Vermont Climate Action Commission, which met for the first time Tuesday. They say Vermont can use emissions-reduction initiatives to advance the state economy.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott’s newly minted Climate Action Commission held its first meeting Tuesday, and while past Vermont governors have also convened special panels to study the issue, commission members insist this latest one will deliver results.

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