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.

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The Vermont Legislature sent its marijuana legalization bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott Thursday, initiating a five-day countdown during which Scott will have to decide whether to sign the legislation, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.

Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

The 2017 legislative session has adjourned, but Vermont’s fiercest political fight in recent memory has only just begun.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont appears to be headed for its first budget veto in nearly a decade.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A news conference was held Wednesday at noon in Montpelier by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe to discuss the status of negotiations around Vermont teachers' health care and subsequently the Vermont state budget.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson has unveiled a plan she hopes will end the month-long standoff in Montpelier over the issue of health benefits for public school employees. But Democrats’ efforts to appease Republican Gov. Phil Scott could cost them a key political ally in the process.

Patti Daniels / VPR

South Burlington voters have rejected two school budgets amidst the ongoing debate over the changing of the high school's "rebel" nickname. They'll vote on a third in June.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A seemingly unbridgeable divide between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers has again postponed legislative adjournment, forcing the two sides back to the Statehouse next week to try to negotiate a compromise over the issue of teacher health care benefits.

Lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott are in a late-session standoff over the issue of Vermont teachers' health care plans.

VPR file

As they battle with Republican Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health benefits, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are trying to cast themselves as champions of property tax relief with a new plan for guaranteed savings in the education system.

An impasse over the issue of teacher health plans continues to thwart a budget compromise between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott, but both sides are back at the bargaining table this week.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A bill that would legalize possession and cultivation of limited amounts of marijuana has won joint approval in the Vermont Legislature, leaving Republican Gov. Phil Scott as the final hurdle to passage of a legalization law in 2017.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A push to drive down health care costs for public school employees has suddenly taken over the political debate in Montpelier, but efforts to control those expenses have actually been going on behind the scenes for two years now.

Facing skepticism from Democratic lawmakers over his controversial plan for teacher health care benefits, Gov . Phil Scott is trying to convince the Legislature — and the public — that the estimated $26 million in savings projections are realistic.

Brennan Linsley / AP

The Vermont Senate has resurrected a bill that would legalize possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana, but it’s unclear whether the late-session compromise measure has the support needed to pass in the House.

Efforts to close out the 2017 legislative session by the end of this week have fizzled in Montpelier, where an impasse between Democratic leaders and Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health contracts has delayed adjournment until at least next week.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Late Wednesday night, the Democratically controlled Vermont House of Representatives almost did the unthinkable by passing a proposal put forth by Republican Gov. Phil Scott that would drastically overhaul the collective bargaining process for public school teachers.

At least 15 Democrats joined forces with independents and Republicans in the Vermont House of Representatives Wednesday night to nearly give Republican Gov. Phil Scott one of the biggest victories of his young tenure.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The prospect of a gubernatorial veto is suddenly looming large over budget negotiations in Montpelier, where intractable differences over the future of teacher health care benefits are threatening to derail a late-session compromise between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont lawmakers are hoping to end the legislative session by the end of this week, but there are some big issues still being debated.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A late-session budget proposal from Republican Gov. Phil Scott has Democratic lawmakers suddenly contemplating new ways to book savings in the public education system.

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