Government & Politics

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Tuesday

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a broad statement Tuesday that calls for a "firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula," after their historic summit in Singapore — the first ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

On Tuesday, Maine primary voters will participate in a ranked-choice voting experiment so unprecedented that the state’s top election official sometimes compares what’s about to happen to a perilous space mission.

Anako Lumumba was 33 years old when she was allegedly killed by her longtime boyfriend, a case of domestic violence taken to its most extreme consequence — and perhaps one that could have been prevented.

Burlington Free Press reporters Jess Aloe and Liz Murray uncovered news about the circumstances of Lumumba's death that are raising questions about how law enforcement handles domestic violence complaints. 

H. Brooke Paige
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

If you look at the list of statewide candidates in this year's election, there's something that will definitely catch your eye: H. Brooke Paige of Washington, Vermont is listed as a Republican candidate for six different state and federal offices.

I shuddered when I learned that more than 700 children, including toddlers, have been taken from their parents at the United States Mexican border. This inhumane policy would act as a deterrent against illegal immigration, we are told.

Since most of the congressional candidates that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders endorsed this year are losing contested primaries, then Sanders' political clout must be fading, right?

"That's a stupid argument," Sanders told NPR this week.

"You know, he has a much broader look at politics than just elections," Sanders' longtime strategist Jeff Weaver said.

That is evident. The 2016 candidate repeatedly questioned the political value of his endorsements, and even expressed some mild indifference to the race-by-race results of the primaries he's waded into.

The statehouse in spring.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

With very little debate, the Vermont Senate Thursday afternoon gave its final approval to a state budget for next year. But Gov. Phil Scott has vowed to veto the bill.

James Lyall, executive director of the ACLU of Vermont, seated as a desk
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is looking to boost the profile of political contests that often fly under the radar: the race for county prosecutor.

The Vermont Legislature has still not reached an agreement with the Gov.'s office in Montpelier.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

In the midst of a political stalemate in Montpelier over the budget for the next year, what could end the disagreement between legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott? And how are Vermonters outside of the capitol understanding the dispute?

Retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis joins Vermont Edition to discuss compromise, politics and the public perception of the political gridlock gripping the statehouse.

The US Capitol building in Washington DC against a bright blue sky.
Tanarch / iStock

Dan Freilich, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, says incumbent Rep. Peter Welch has sponsored legislation that directly benefits companies that have contributed to Welch's re-election campaign. But Welch counters by saying the charges aren't true and that he's working to change the current campaign finance system.

Sen. Tim Ashe speaking during a 2016 special session.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / VPR

Legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott can't seem to agree on property tax rates or a state budget for next year. But they do agree that a state government shutdown on July 1 would be a disaster for Vermont.

Vermont Edition talks with Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe about efforts to settle this disagreement and avoid a shutdown. 

Mares: Bee Democracy

Jun 6, 2018

Normally, I work in the bee yards to escape thinking about the direction of American politics and the state of the world. But this year is different.

On Monday the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.

The Swanton sector of U.S. Border Patrol covers nearly 300 miles of the U.S.-Canada border, including parts of New York and all of Vermont and New Hampshire.
Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative/file

Last week, John Pfeifer retired from his position as Chief Patrol Agent for the U.S. Border Patrol in the Swanton Sector.

Gov. Scott delivered his 2018 budget address before a joint session of the Vermont Legislature.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

Prior to this year, a Vermont governor had vetoed the budget only twice in state history. Gov. Phil Scott may soon match that number in 2018 alone.

Exterior of Wolcott Elementary School on an overcast day.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A nearly 200-page report was released by the Vermont Agency of Education on Friday, and school districts around Vermont are going through the state's school consolidation recommendations.

In the wake of the Parkland high school massacre, there's been renewed interest in "red flag" laws, which allow courts and police to temporarily remove guns from people perceived to pose a threat.

The new research offers insight into the laws' effect — and it may not be what you think.

"Although these laws tended to be enacted after mass shooting events, in practice, they tend to be enforced primarily for suicide prevention," says Aaron Kivisto, a clinical psychologist with the University of Indianapolis who studies gun violence prevention.

Theodore Roosevelt called the Presidency “a bully pulpit” – a wonderful platform from which to proclaim policy and influence major events and issues.

I never thought I’d live in an America where small children would be taken from mothers seeking safety in the United States. And I’ve been feeling helpless to stop this cruelty.

EPA Region 1 Administrator Alexandra Dunn says Vermont still has to come up with a long-term funding plan to clean up Lake Champlain.
John Dillon / VPR

Lake Champlain will get a $4 million increase in federal clean-up funds this year. But the Environmental Protection Agency says Vermont still needs to develop a funding source of its own.

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