Dick Sears

Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is working on several gun control measures that could be voted on in committee this week
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

During the course of the week, the House is scheduled to review a Senate bill that raises the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.

Bennington County Sen. Dick Sears, seen here on the Senate floor in a 2016 file photo, says the extreme risk bill approved by the Vermont Senate Wednesday could prevent acts of gun violence.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

As lawmakers nationwide consider new ways to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people, the Vermont Senate has advanced a bill that would make it easier for police to seize firearms from people who pose an "extreme risk" to themselves or others.

In foreground, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, and Bennington County Sen. Dick Sears, right , talk after a meeting on gun legislation Tuesday.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont’s top elected officials have vowed to move ahead with new restrictions on gun ownership, but a debate between the House and Senate this week shows that finding consensus on firearms legislation will be easier said than done.

Nearly 1,000 people showed up at the Statehouse Tuesday evening to argue for and against proposed legislation that would allow police to temporarily remove guns from someone arrested or cited for domestic violence.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In the latest testament to the enduring salience of the politics of firearms in Vermont, nearly 1,000 people turned out at a public hearing in the Statehouse Tuesday evening to offer impassioned arguments for — and against — proposed gun legislation.

The Vermont House has voted to prohibit the holding of "coyote killing" tournaments
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

A plan to legalize the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana cleared an important hurdle Thursday evening when the Vermont House gave its approval to the legislation by a vote of 81 to 63.

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to a bill legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana
La_Corivo / iStock.com

Gov. Phil Scott says he’s about to convene a “blue ribbon commission” to study issues related to the legalization of marijuana.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is backing efforts to release long held documents relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Sen. Patrick Leahy is leading an effort in the U.S. Senate to prevent the Trump Administration from cracking down on states that have legalized the use of medical marijuana.

Ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant in Seattle on June 25, 2014.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File

Backers of a new marijuana legalization bill say they’re very disappointed that many members of the House Republican caucus and a number of Democrats voted to block consideration of the legislation in Wednesday’s veto session.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Backers of a compromise plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana to have a proposal ready for lawmakers to consider when a special veto session begins on June 21. But they're concerned that no action will take place.

Brennan Linsley / AP

The Vermont Senate has resurrected a bill that would legalize possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana, but it’s unclear whether the late-session compromise measure has the support needed to pass in the House.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

In a unanimous 30-0 vote, the Vermont Senate has advanced legislation that's designed to blunt part of the impact of new immigration policies of the Trump Administration. 

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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

A renewed effort to require universal background checks for all gun sales in Vermont is beginning to encounter some of the same resistance that thwarted a similar push two years ago.

JJRD / iStock.com

More than 2,000 people in Vermont are enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana registry, but some lawmakers say many eligible patients still have trouble obtaining medical cannabis.

Proposed legislation would lower some of the barriers to access.

Trevor Smith / iStock.com

Two key lawmakers say they plan to resume the push to legalize cannabis in Vermont, but Governor-elect Phil Scott is urging them not to waste their time on the measure.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont Senate has rejected a proposed Constitutional amendment that would have created "a right to privacy."

Backers said the proposal was needed to keep up with the enormous technological changes taking place in society. But opponents argued the measure could overturn a number of state laws.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR File

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a bill ahead of the Legislature’s Friday evening deadline for non-money bills on a 5-0 vote, ensuring the full Senate will consider a scaled back gun bill this year.

The legislation, supported unanimously in the committee Friday, seeks to ban some convicted criminals from possessing weapons and will require people found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others to be reported to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. It would take effect on Oct. 1.

Plasan Carbon Composites, a Michigan based company that touts itself as “the leading provider of automotive carbon fiber components in North America,” has laid off 143 employees at its Bennington manufacturing facility, according to a release from Sen. Dick Sears of Bennington.

4:30 p.m. The Bennington Banner reports that the manufacturing facility is closing altogether in May.