Government & Politics

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

The Vermont Legislature wrapped up its 2015 session late on Saturday night. Lawmakers closed a $113 million budget gap, passed an education reform bill and a bill that raises money for cleaning up the state's water ways.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A showdown over taxes between the Democratic governor and lawmakers from his own party finally ended Saturday afternoon when a grand bargain eliminated the prospect of a veto, and paved the way for the fall of the gavel on the 2015 legislative session.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Senate Friday afternoon overwhelmingly approved legislation that will encourage more renewable energy projects in Vermont. But the bill has re-ignited a debate over the impact of solar and wind projects on the communities where they’re built. 

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

One issue that could derail the planned adjournment of the Legislature this weekend is the tax bill that's needed to balance the state budget. Legislative leaders and Gov. Peter Shumlin have some fundamental disagreements about several key elements of this tax package.

Gregory J. Lamoureux / AP

A lot has happened since Vermont Sen. Norm McAllister was arrested on felony sexual assault charges.

First, there was word he'd resign – but that didn't happen.

Then there was pressure from lawmakers for him to step down, and yesterday a Vermont Senate panel stripped the Franklin County Republican of all his committee assignments.

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced the top tier of his campaign team Friday, bringing on two longtime political allies.

Sanders named Franklin County native Jeff Weaver as campaign manager. Weaver first worked for Sanders on his 1986 gubernatorial campaign and later helped on Sanders’ 2006 Senate campaign before becoming the junior senator’s chief of staff.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Lawmakers are aiming to adjourn the current legislative session on Saturday, and numerous bills are meeting their fates in the Vermont House and Senate.  Speaker of the House Shap Smith is our guest for the full hour to discuss how key issues are being decided, like taxes, the state budget, school consolidation, Lake Champlain cleanup and changes to the child protection system.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

There’s no love lost between the Republican minority in Montpelier and the Democratic governor they blame for many of the state’s fiscal problems. But the House GOP has suddenly, if only temporarily, become one of Gov. Peter Shumlin’s chief political allies. 

Bob Kinzel / VPR

House and Senate negotiators are focusing on an education cost containment plan that they think could help reduce property tax burdens in the future. They're looking at a way to penalize schools that spend above certain levels.

Steve Barrett / NPR

Nina Totenberg has been NPR’s legal affairs correspondent for almost 40 years. And even if you don’t follow the courts or the law, you’ve probably found yourself enjoying Totenberg’s reenactments of Supreme Court justices making the lawyers before them squirm.