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

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

It’s been five weeks since lawmakers kicked off the 2017 legislative session, meaning the session is about a quarter over. Here are three issues that lawmakers are trying to tackling this year.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday rolled out a Medicaid pilot program whose success or failure could determine the future of health care reform in Vermont.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

As President Donald Trump tries to use his executive authority to impose heightened border-security measures across the United States, elected officeholders in Vermont are using a variety of legal maneuvers to thwart Trump’s new immigration policies.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

An effort to boost public support for one of the most poorly-funded state college systems in the nation could go by the wayside if Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott can’t find a budget compromise.

La_Corivo / iStock.com

Last year, the legislative push to legalize marijuana suffered a rather quick demise in the Vermont House. But this year’s body appears more receptive to the proposal, and a bill introduced this week would legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A decision by House lawmakers to conduct a second recount in a close House race in Orange County has drawn condemnation from Republicans in Montpelier and criticism from town clerks across the state.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says Vermont will not cooperate with a federal crackdown on immigration that calls on state and local officials to aid in heightened border-security measures. And he says his administration is "exploring a legal challenge" to executive orders signed by President Donald Trump last week.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

While Gov. Phil Scott and other elected officeholders in Vermont have had harsh words for the federal executive orders that could restrict immigration to the United States, some legal advocates are calling for more concrete actions to protect immigrants living in the state.

Berezko / iStock.com

A nonprofit law firm in Burlington is offering free legal advice to people from the “countries of concern” listed in the executive order President Donald Trump signed late Friday.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As it becomes increasingly apparent that Gov. Phil Scott’s bombshell budget proposal Tuesday won’t pass muster in either the House or Senate, key legislators are already asking the Republican for an alternative spending package. It does not appear that one is forthcoming.

Stefan Hard / Times Argus file

It’s safe to say that Gov. Phil Scott caught lawmakers by surprise with his budget address on Tuesday. And for many of them, that surprise was not a pleasant one.

Ryan Caron King / NENC

Rutland City Mayor Christopher Louras says an executive order expected from President Donald Trump later this week would quash plans to resettle 100 Syrian refugees in the city.  

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As questions swirl about the fate of immigration policy in the United States, Attorney General TJ Donovan is launching a task force to explore whether Vermont can blunt the impact of executive orders signed by President Donald Trump.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

In what would amount to unprecedented legislative intervention in local education spending, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has asked lawmakers to wrest control over school budgets so that his administration can fund an array of child care programs and higher-education initiatives.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

In the most highly anticipated speech of his political career, Gov. Phil Scott says he’ll unveil a state budget plan Tuesday afternoon that calls for zero growth in ongoing general fund expenditures.

Rick Cochran / Courtesy

In no state did Donald Trump receive a lower percentage of the popular vote than in Vermont. The new Republican president, however, still has plenty of committed supporters here — and many of them are in Washington, D.C., this week to celebrate Trump’s inauguration.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Some Democratic lawmakers are expressing skepticism over a plan from Republican Gov. Phil Scott to merge the Department of Labor and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A plan to fund water-quality improvements by assessing a per-parcel fee on all property owners in Vermont is already drawing opposition in Montpelier.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

If lawmakers go along with the recommendations outlined in a long-awaited report released late Sunday night, then property owners across Vermont will pick up much of the tab for a water-quality improvement initiative expected to cost almost $1 billion over the next 20 years.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott may have sold off his stake in a company that does business with state government, but critics say he still hasn’t eliminated the financial conflicts related to that business relationship.

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