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

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.

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont House is expected to pass legislation this week that would create a statewide paid family and medical leave program. But the bill will face a number of hurdles to passage when the Senate takes up the proposal next year, and might see its progress hampered by a corresponding push to raise the minimum wage.

Over 200 years ago, the Spitfire, a Revolutionary War-era gunship, sank to the bottom of Lake Champlain after being damaged during the Battle of Valcour Island. Now, researchers are proposing a plan to raise the ship, restore it and put it on display.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

A former regulator at the Environmental Protection Agency says budget cuts proposed by President Donald Trump would have a “devastating” impact on efforts to reduce the flow of pollution into Lake Champlain and other Vermont water bodies.

Senate lawmakers voted unanimously Thursday to confirm Robin Lunge to the Green Mountain Care Board, despite legal concerns from Gov. Phil Scott that her appointment may have been tainted by a clerical error.

Senate lawmakers have given unanimous approval to a state budget that includes funding for a range of spending initiatives that did not make it into House’s spending plan. But the accounting tactic used by the Senate to fund those programs will be a major point of contention as legislative leaders enter negotiations for a consensus budget plan.

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, Gov. Phil Scott is calling on lawmakers to overhaul the collective bargaining process for public school teachers, so that his administration can try to extract $26 million in health care savings from the education system next year.

FotografiaBasica / iStock.com

As Vermont’s demographic profile undergoes a potentially dramatic shift over the next decade or two, analysts in state government are trying give policymakers a more precise glimpse at what the population is going to look like in the future.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says that after 100 days in office, he’s already transforming culture in state government and bringing needed fiscal restraint to the state budget. But the new Republican executive is still struggling to bring the Legislature on board with some of his most sweeping proposals.

Toby Talbot / AP file

An apparent clerical error by the administration of former Gov. Peter Shumlin has jeopardized the tenure of one of his highest-profile appointments to the Green Mountain Care Board.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

House lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would update the state’s fair and impartial policing policies, and create a new 15-person board to oversee racial justice issues in Vermont.

Almost without exception, efforts to legalize marijuana in the U.S. involve citizens of an area making the choice for their elected officials by way of constitutional referendum. Vermont’s constitution doesn’t allow for that kind of ballot initiative approach.

A man who spent nearly three decades lobbying Vermont lawmakers has become the newest member of the Legislature.

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

Prospects for a marijuana legalization bill passing out of Montpelier this year grew even dimmer Tuesday, when key Senate lawmakers said their body is exceedingly unlikely to support the plan being considered in House.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

For the second time in less than two months, a Vermont ski resort is being acquired by a buyer from out west, and Stratton Mountain Resort will soon come under an ownership group headed by Aspen Skiing Company.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

House lawmakers might have given nearly unanimous approval to the state budget last week, but not everyone is happy with the compromise package, and many advocates are now pushing Senate lawmakers to add millions of dollars in new spending on child care, state colleges, human-services programs and other services.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he thinks undocumented immigrants should be deported if they’re convicted of driving under the influence.

YUCELOZBER / iStock.com

Vermonters have all kinds of ways to boost their income potential, from education to professional training. But there’s a statistical drag on future earnings that half of this state’s residents can’t escape, and advocates are still working to close the persistent pay gap between men and women.

Evan Vucci / AP file

In 2014, Vermont became the first state in the nation to call for a constitutional convention to overturn Citizens United. But many lawmakers now say it’s a dangerous path to go down, and the Vermont Senate voted Tuesday to rescinded it 2014 resolution.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Pressure to hit the April 15 filing deadline isn’t the only thing Vermonters have to worry about this tax season. State officials say scam calls from IRS impersonators are on the rise.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A budget plan put forward by the House of Representatives this week has won nearly unanimous support across party lines, but the bipartisan harmony over fiscal issues may be short-lived.

Pages