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 problems began in the spring of 2012, when state officials decided to change how they determine whether disabled children in Vermont are eligible for government-subsidized home care.

The Department of Health discarded its old evaluation tool in favor of one borrowed from Wisconsin, which would from then on be used to determine whether the state was properly allocating “personal care services” to the approximately 2,200 kids served by the program in 2011.

Disability advocates were almost immediately alarmed.

A prospective health insurance carrier panned by state regulators last month has overhauled its governing board in an attempt to rehabilitate its reputation and win the right to sell policies in Vermont.

A land sale in East Montpelier is attracting a lot of attention, and it’s because the buyer of the property is Governor Peter Shumlin, and the seller is now publicly expressing remorse about the sale.

Peter Hirschfeld has been covering the story for the Vermont Press Bureau, and he joins VPR's Mitch Wertlieb for our Friday Regional Report.

Click listen to hear the interview.

They are “severely functionally impaired.” And they are among the highest-dollar offenders under watch at the Department of Corrections.

The cost to house these troubled, often aggressive convicts in community placements outside prison walls has vexed budget writers for years. The price tag for a single offender can exceed $500,000 annually. And while the six-figure expenditures are relatively rare, they have become budget-busters at an Agency of Human Services beset by fiscal pressures elsewhere.

Two years ago, lawmakers endowed a five-person panel with the power to tell doctors how much they can charge patients for health care services. Now, some physicians with private practices say the rate-setting authority could put them out of business.

As part of a health care reform initiative launched under Gov. Peter Shumlin, lawmakers have intensified oversight of the medical industry, and granted unprecedented powers to a board that now regulates doctors and hospitals.

Job losses in the wake of Tropical Storm Irene were in many cases temporary, lasting only as long as it took businesses to repair damage from the flood.

The financial impact of those layoffs has been more lasting, but lawmakers may have found a way to soften the blow.

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