Beth Pearce

Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom, center, said in an email to employees Monday that their "anxiety" and "stress" over the prospect of a government shutdown is unncessary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

In an email sent Monday evening to rank-and-file employees at the Vermont Department of Taxes, Commissioner Kaj Samsom said their anxiety over a government shutdown is unnecessary, and that political forces — along with the media — are responsible for the unfounded alarm.

Sens. Jane Kitchel, Tim Ashe and Ann Cummings, from left, called on Gov. Phil Scott Thursday to develop a contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott Thursday night vetoed the state budget passed by lawmakers last week. And with Scott and the Legislature still at odds over one key policy issue, elected officials are calling on the administration to develop a contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown.

In a memo to lawmakers and the Scott administration, State Treasurer Beth Pearce, right, warned of dire consequences if they don't soon resolve their budget impasse.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

State Treasurer Beth Pearce says Vermont will begin to experience serious fiscal setbacks if Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers don’t resolve their budget impasse soon.

A majority of Vermonters say they support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Democrats hope Gov. Phil Scott's opposition to the wage increase will hurt support for Republicans in the November elections.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers are inching closer to a budget compromise that would avoid the possibility of a government shutdown. But when it comes to the core issue that led to the impasse, the two sides remain at odds.

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he's confident that he'll be able to reach an agreement with Democratic leaders in an upcoming Special Session over the issue of education spending. But Scott says raising property tax rates will definitely not be part of any agreement.

Attorney General TJ Donovan announced a $28 million settlement with tobacco companies Thursday. Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders say they'll use $14 million to combat the state's opioid problem. They have yet to decide how to spend the remainder.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A legal settlement with tobacco companies has resulted in a financial windfall for the state of Vermont.

More than 100,000 Vermont workers don't have a workplace reitrement plan, according to AARP estimates.
USA-Reiseblogger / Pixabay

As many as 45 percent of Vermont private-sector workers don't have a retirement plan through their employer. To help Vermonters save — and to reduce reliance on public services when Vermonters go to retire — State Treasurer Beth Pearce is in the final phases of launching a new retirement plan aimed at Vermont's self-employed and those working for small businesses.

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.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A plan to fund water-quality improvements by assessing a per-parcel fee on all property owners in Vermont is already drawing opposition in Montpelier.

The Vermont Clean Water Act will hold more than 1,000 properties across the state to stricter stormwater standards, but environmental advocates say the Scott administration is trying to undermine some key provisions.
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.

In a memo to lawmakers and the Scott administration, State Treasurer Beth Pearce, right, warned of dire consequences if they don't soon resolve their budget impasse.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

State Treasurer Beth Pearce is planning to work with lawmakers this year to set up a program to bring retirement savings plans to more Vermonters.

A study committee created by the Legislature will recommend that lawmakers create a public retirement program. The program would be designed for Vermont workers whose employers don’t offer them.

The Vermont Clean Water Act will hold more than 1,000 properties across the state to stricter stormwater standards, but environmental advocates say the Scott administration is trying to undermine some key provisions.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

Next month, Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce will unveil a much-anticipated legislative report that will tell lawmakers how to raise the $1.3 billion needed to clean up Lake Champlain and other polluted waterways. And Governor-elect Phil Scott may soon find himself at odds with Democrats — and environmental advocates — over how to come up with the money.

Photo Illustration by Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Should Vermont divest from fossil fuels? Will today’s state employees get the retirement benefits they’ve been promised? Your vote will help determine who’s in charge of answering those questions.

Next year, lawmakers will wrestle with one of the biggest financial challenges in state history, when they have to decide how to raise the estimated $1.3 billion needed to improve water quality across Vermont.

Photo Illustration by Emily Alfin Johnson / Photos by Meg Malone / VPR

This week and next, Vermont Edition is bringing you election debates for statewide offices.  On Wednesday, the leading candidates for treasurer meet in a live, face-to-face debate.

Courtesy of Jake Brennan

What do Flannery O'Connor, Vampires in the Lemon Grove, Ulysses and State Treasurer Beth Pearce have in common? They're all referenced on the new record from Burlington-based band Violet Ultraviolet.

Songwriter Jake Brennan spoke with VPR about the new album Pop City and the inspirations behind it.

Gov. Peter Shumlin joined with environmental advocates earlier this year in calling for the state pension fund to unload its stocks in coal companies and Exxon-Mobil. But it turns out that the $4 billion fund is still generating returns from companies related to the last big divestment battle.

Courtesy of Thomas Hanley / Middlebury Police Department

Sgt. Jason Covey sits at a conference table in the Middlebury Police Department offices. Displayed out in front of him are three guns. Each one has a little tag attached by a string, looped around the trigger like a price tag, with information about how the department acquired the gun.

Carlos Osorio / AP

State Treasurer Beth Pearce says she opposes a plan that calls for the divestment of fossil fuel companies from the state's pension funds.

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