Government & Politics

A Vermont State Police cruiser watches for speeding drivers on I-89 in September 2015.
Steve Zind / VPR

Vermont lawmakers are taking up a new highway safety bill that could make failure to wear a seat belt a "stoppable offense," as well as introduce tougher penalties for young motorists using cell phones while driving.

The push comes after a third of victims in Vermont's fatal crashes last year weren't wearing seat belts, in what was the deadliest year on Vermont roads in four years.

Senate Transportation chairman Dick Mazza says he'll oppose a primary enforcement seat belt law this year
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

The Vermont House has given strong initial support to a highway safety bill that includes the primary enforcement of Vermont's seat belt law.

Bradford Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas speaks at the Vermont Statehouse on Thursday, Jan. 25.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

As the #MeToo movement continues to illuminate the prevalence of harassment and abuse that many women face in the workplace, a tri-partisan group of Vermont legislators is trying to make it easier for victims to report bad behavior.

Jose Luis Magana / AP

It's now less than 10 months before the November election and still we're not sure Sanders will be seeking re-election to a third term.

Image of downtown Burlington, Vermont from above.
DenisTangneyJr / iStock.com

The U.S. Department of Justice is demanding the city of Burlington hand over documents about how local law enforcement communicate with federal immigration authorities.

The rate of incarceration in Vermont has dropped by a third over the last decade, according to a new survey by Pew Charitable Trusts. But officials with the Vermont ACLU says the state still jails far more people than it needs to.
txking / iStock

The Vermont chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a campaign that will try to cut the state's halve the prison population in Vermont.

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

Calling for consensus to avoid a property tax increase, Gov. Phil Scott's budget address outlined his spending priorities and principles for the coming year.

Vermont Edition digs into the details of just what the governor is proposing with his new budget, and how the math works out to pay for it without raising taxes or fees.

Vogel: Homeownership

Jan 23, 2018

For many years, I taught real estate courses at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and lately people have been asking if I think this is a good time to buy a home in Vermont. And my answer is a qualified yes.

For weeks, I slogged my way through the almost seven hundred page American Ulysses: A life of Ulysses S. Grant, one of the two recent big biographies of our 18th president, of whom I knew embarrassingly little.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, center, flanked by Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, say they have concerns with Gov. Phil Scott's approach to the issue of cost-containment in public schools.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

With an executive branch in Republican hands, and a Legislature overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, ideological conflict is part and parcel of state government these days. And it became clear Tuesday afternoon where that partisan divide is widest.

In anticipation of the tariff, SunCommon stockpiled solar panels to try to keep prices low for as long as possible. President Donald Trump enacted a tariff on imported solar panels and cells that many in the industry say will slow down growth.
James Moore, Courtesy

A new tariff on imported solar panels and cells has solar companies across the country, including ones in Vermont, worried that the that growth of the burgeoning industry will slow down.

Secretary of Administration Susanne Young and Commissioner of Finance Adam Greshin told reporters Tuesday that the governor's fiscal year 2019 budget plan ties rate of growth in state spending to the increase in Vermonters' wages.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In a budget proposal that one administration official describes as having “no bells … and no whistles,” Republican Gov. Phil Scott is calling for a $5.9 billion spending plan that pegs the rate of growth in the budget to the increase in Vermonters’ incomes in recent years.

Golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott delivered his 2018 budget address Tuesday afternoon at the Vermont Statehouse.

Sen. Patrick Leahy D-Vt., questions Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.
Jose Luis Magana / AP

Sen. Patrick Leahy was one of a minority of Senate Democrats to vote against the deal to reopen the government. He joined Vermont Edition to tell us why.

We're talking about what Vermont's marijuana laws could mean for employment and drug testing.
edwardolive / iStock

Gov. Phil Scott has signed Vermont's marijuana legalization bill into law. We're looking at what it could mean for workers, employers and drug test policies.

Juan Conde, a first-year medical student at UVM, speaks to reporters about how the DACA program allowed him to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

As Congress debates immigration legislation, there's ongoing uncertainty for a group of immigrants who've received protections under the program known as DACA.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe strongly supports raising Vermont's minimum wage to $15 an hour over a period of years.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The Vermont Senate could vote in the next few weeks on a bill that raises the state minimum wage from the current $10.50 an hour to $15 an hour over a period of several years. 

The legislation is a top priority for Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, but the plan is opposed by Gov. Phil Scott.

Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Tom Torti, at the podium, joined environmental and municipal leaders last week to call for a per-parcel fee, on every property owner in Vermont, to fund clean water projects.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Environmental advocates aren’t the only voices pressuring Montpelier to come up with a long-term funding mechanism for water quality projects. Members of the state's business community are also joining the call.

Despite pressure from opponents to veto the legislation, Gov. Phil Scott has signed into law a bill that will legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.
VPR / Bob Kinzel

Vermont has become the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana through an act of the Legislature.

Screenshot from the trailer for 'The Post'

Apparently perceiving a conspiracy of Democrats, the press and liberal elites, the president is seething. Those around him have never seen him so angry.

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