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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Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A push by the State Board of Education to expand the special-education obligations of independent schools across Vermont has earned it some new enemies in Montpelier, and proposed legislation that would strip the 11-person panel of its century-old role in setting education policy.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

There was some drama in Montpelier Wednesday morning as lawmakers prepared to launch a two-day recount process for the results of the November vote on the representatives for the Orange -1 district.

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Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The State Board of Education has postponed a vote on a controversial proposal that would require independent schools to accept all students, regardless of their special-education needs.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Vermont lawmakers are eyeing a $2-per-night fee on hotel stays to raise the $10 million a year they say is needed to solve the state’s affordable housing crunch.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Public hearings Monday night on Gov. Phil Scott’s proposed budget showcased strong support for some of the new spending initiatives in the Republican’s plan. But advocates’ hopes for increased funding are about to meet with some harsh fiscal realities in Montpelier.

Toby Talbot / AP file

Gov. Phil Scott has reappointed Rebecca Holcombe as secretary of the Agency of Education, keeping in place a key player in the delicate rollout of a school district consolidation law passed in 2015.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Elected officials of varying political persuasions in Vermont presented a unified front Thursday against immigration orders signed by President Donald Trump.

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.

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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.

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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.

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