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

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.

James Ehlers, seen here at a Statehouse rally earlier this year, says Vermont voters will appreciate a progressive agenda that includes a $15 minimum wage and tax increases on the wealthy.
Brenda Patoine, courtesy

The next gubernatorial election is still more than a year away, and it's been more than 50 years since an incumbent governor lost a reelection bid in Vermont. But the leading Democratic challenger to Gov. Phil Scott says he thinks the Republican incumbent is vulnerable.

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

State regulators have ratcheted down the premium increases sought by the Vermont’s largest private health insurer, but one key official says rate hikes for next year’s plans will still be “ridiculously high.”

When you're the economist for the Vermont legislature, sometimes you have to deliver unwelcome news to lawmakers.

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

Gov. Phil Scott says he’s about to convene a “blue ribbon commission” to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana.

Tristan Toleno, left, Annmarie Christensen and Rodney Graham serve in Vermont's House of Representatives.
Angela Evancie & Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont’s citizen legislators get paid about $12,700 for five months of work. So, if you have a career and/or a family, how do you pull it off?

Sarah Launderville, executive director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living, says Medicaid funding is still in jeopardy, even though the Affordable Care Act has survived attempts by Republicans to repeal it.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

For supporters of the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, last week’s failed vote to repeal the law was cause for celebration. But the future of federal funding for health care programs in Vermont remains uncertain, and advocates say they are not resting easy.

A legislative panel is laying the ground work for a debate over the minimum wage next year. But even traditionally progressive business groups say their members have concerns about raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Supporters of a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour hope a new summer study committee will lay the groundwork for passage in 2018.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo, right, says remarks by President Donald Trump last week were "very unhelpful to hardworking police everywhere."
Taylor Dobbs / VPR file

Police in Vermont have joined law enforcement officials across the country in condemning remarks by President Donald Trump that appeared to condone excessive force by cops.

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