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

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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.
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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.

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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.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As lawmakers look to defer again a politically difficult decision on how to pay for a $1 billion clean water initiative, advocates are ramping up pressure to adopt a financing plan before the 2017 legislative session adjourns.

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A highly anticipated vote on a bill that would legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana was postponed indefinitely Tuesday when House leadership pulled the proposal from the floor, after it became apparent that the legislation did not have enough votes to pass.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The House Committee on Appropriations is expected to vote out its version of the fiscal year 2018 state budget Monday. Here are some takeaways about the state budget as it stands.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Less than 24 hours after the disintegration of a Republican effort to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act, Sen. Bernie Sanders told constituents at a town hall meeting in Hardwick Saturday that he’ll introduce a single-payer health care bill in Congress “within a couple of weeks.”

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A massive security breach at the Vermont Department of Labor may have compromised the Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of Vermonters, and Gov. Phil Scott says the state is contemplating legal action against the private vendor responsible for the breach.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Senate lawmakers say low pay for mental health workers has led to a bottleneck in crisis care, and they’re trying to find funding to boost wages for more than 2,000 employees across the state.

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