Government & Politics

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.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee meet outside the House chamber Friday to consider a proposed budget amendment. The House gave preliminary approval to a new budet Friday, but Gov. Phil Scott says he'll veto it, unless they make changes.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Vermont House of Representatives has given preliminary approval to its second budget of the year, but the latest spending plan looks destined for the same gubernatorial veto the first one got.

A stretch of road with a mini cell tower on a utility pole that a car is driving by.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR/File

The Vermont Department of Public Service says it’s not yet ready to give up on CoverageCo, the struggling cell service company.

Rows of soda bottles with different color caps.
Kwangmoozaa / iStock

Gov. Phil Scott has signed a bill into law that redistributes several million dollars from the state's uncollected bottle deposit fund into clean water programs.

Chittenden County State's Attorney Sarah George, seen at a press conference Friday, will not file charges in a police shooting that took place in February.
Henry Epp / VPR

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan announced Friday he will not bring criminal charges against two police officers who shot a man on the side of Interstate 89 in February.

Updated at 8:18 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's latest move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the U.S.'s biggest strategic and trade partners has touched off a barrage of criticism and retaliation.

Bychykhin_Olexandr / iStock.

Act 86 — allowing possession of up to an ounce of marijuana under state law — goes into effect July 1. With less than a month to go, what do you want to know about how the law will work, and what you can and cannot do?

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed legislation that would have created a new position in the executive branch to deal with systemic racism in state government. Scott, however, says he’s moving forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.

The spent nuclear fuel at Vermont Yankee is being stored in dry casks on the property in Vernon.
Courtesy Vermont Yankee

Why would anyone want to buy a closed nuclear power plant, along with its long legacy of radioactive waste?

Campaigns for statewide and legislative candidates are now officialy underway after the May 31 filing deadline.
Jason Doiy / iStock

The deadline to file for elected office in Vermont was Thursday, May 31, and now campaigns for statewide and legislative candidates are officially underway. Here are the candidates just one day after the state's filing deadline:

Hands using a calculator.
MangoStar_Studio / iStock

A coalition of 40 nonprofit groups says a proposed cap on tax credits for charitable contributions will have a devastating impact on their ability to offer services to Vermonters.

Gregory Zullo, center, at the Vermont Supreme Court Wednesday.
Henry Epp / VPR

Attorneys made arguments Wednesday before Vermont's highest court in a case involving a traffic stop that allegedly stemmed from racial profiling.

Democratic lawmakers say they have a plan to avoid a government shutdown, in the event they can't reach a deal with Gov. Phil Scott over property taxes. But Scott says he needs to see more details.
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.

A stretch of road with a mini cell tower on a utility pole that a car is driving by.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR/File

A company struggling to provide cell phone service in rural Vermont has asked state utility regulators for emergency help, because one of its key provider has cut off access to most of its network.

State's attorneys in Windsor and Chittenden County are working with Vermont Law School's Center For Justice Reform on efforts to expunge misdemeanor marijuana offenses from the criminal records of Vermonters.
MmeEmil / iStock

On July 1 Vermont's marijuana laws will allow adults 21 and older to possess and cultivate small quantities of the drug for personal use. But possession under two ounces has been a misdemeanor offense in Vermont, which means thousands of Vermonters will have criminal records for offenses that will soon be considered legal in the state. Now Vermont Law School is working with states attorneys in two counties to facilitate expunging those offenses from Vermonters' criminal records.

Gov-elect Phil Scott at a desk in 2016, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe at a 2017 press conference.
Pete Hirschfeld / VPR Files

Both House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe say a shutdown of state government on July 1 would be a disaster. And they've come up with a plan to avoid it.

The 2018 legislative session will be known as the year that Vermont took an important step towards reducing gun violence.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman is calling on Gov. Phil Scott to compromise on his "no new taxes" pledge to help facilitate a compromise at the Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

On Friday night, Gov. Phil Scott formally vetoed the tax and budget bills. Administration officials say Scott rejected a new compromise proposal because it includes an increase on the non-residential statewide property tax rate and they say Scott will never agree to any plan that raises taxes on Vermonters.

A stretch of road with a mini cell tower on a utility pole that a car is driving by.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR/File

Vermonters with cell phone service provided by CoverageCo continue to have spotty service. Now, a group of Vermont lawmakers is asking the Department of Public Service for more details on how the state’s going to deal with the ongoing problems.

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