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

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.

Toby Talbot / AP/file

A New York firm says it can decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for far less money, and in much less time, than previously projected. But nuclear watchdogs say the “seductive” proposal needs intense scrutiny before regulators allow the deal to proceed.

A key official in the administration of Gov. Phil Scott says she anticipates economists to downgrade Vermont’s revenue forecast when they unveil new fiscal projections next Thursday.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A renewed effort to require universal background checks for all gun sales in Vermont is beginning to encounter some of the same resistance that thwarted a similar push two years ago.

Gov. Phil Scott says he hasn’t even looked at the list of six names sent to Gov. Peter Shumlin last month as possible replacements for outgoing Supreme Court Justice John Dooley. But Scott says he wants to start the nomination process from scratch nonetheless.

Oliver Parini for VPR / file

Vermont has become the 14th state in the country to adopt an “Election Day Registration” statute that allows eligible voters to cast a ballot on the same day they register to vote.

Angela Evancie / VPR

A proposal to make Vermont the fifth state in the country to ensure paid family and medical leave for all employees in the state could come with price tag of as much as $79 million, according a report released this week by the Vermont Commission on Women.

Washington County Sen. Ann Cummings has reclaimed the chairwomanship of the powerful Senate committee she lost in 2013 after trying to wrest leadership over the chamber from then-Senate President John Campbell.

Angela Evancie / VPR

In his first speech as governor of the state of Vermont, Republican Phil Scott outlined a four-pronged agenda that focuses on combating the state’s opiate “crisis,” growing jobs and wages, reforming the public-education system and balancing budgets without the use of new taxes or fees.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The opening day of the legislative biennium always features lots of firsts, but this year’s had even more than most. And with a new House Speaker, a new Senate president and a new governor in town, lawmakers are trying to get familiar with some uncharted legislative territory.

An associate dean at the University of Vermont Medical Center will serve as commissioner of the Department of Health under Governor-elect Phil Scott.

Stefan Hard / Times Argus/Pool

In a unanimous ruling that could impact its own make up, the Vermont Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a ruling that denies Gov. Peter Shumlin the ability to appoint a successor to outgoing Associate Justice John Dooley.

Stefan Hard / Times Argus/Pool

An overflow crowd descended on the Vermont Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon for a hearing that could have ramifications on gubernatorial appointments for years to come. 

Clockwise from top left: Lisa Rathke, AP; Andy Duback, AP; Nina Keck, VPR; Jacquelyn Martin, AP; Angela Evancie, VPR.

It's been quite a year. In the final days of 2016, we're reflecting on some of the biggest news stories of the year and looking toward what's next in 2017.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

For the past four years, Chittenden County Sen. Tim Ashe has been chairman of a finance committee that oversees some of the state's most difficult revenue problems. As he prepares for his new role as Senate president pro tem, Ashe says Vermont's budget outlook is cloudier than ever.

Yet another appointee of Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin will be keeping his job under the administration of Republican Governor-elect Phil Scott.

Scott announced in an email Thursday evening that Louis Porter will stay on as commissioner of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, a post he’s served in since April of 2014. Porter, a former journalist at the Rutland Herald and Times Argus, previously served as Shumlin’s secretary of civil and military affairs.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A $200 million online health insurance marketplace created by the Shumlin administration in 2013 is a flawed program with “significant deficiencies” that is not, in its current form, capable of meeting the needs of Vermont consumers.

The longtime news director at WCAX, Anson Tebbetts, will serve as secretary of the Agency of Agriculture under the incoming administration of Governor-elect Phil Scott.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Nearly 200 people showed up at the Statehouse on Monday morning as part of a last-ditch effort to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president. 

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