Government & Politics

Exterior of the Logic Supply building in South Burlington on a cloudy day.
Henry Epp / VPR

Among the proposals Gov. Phil Scott has made this year to expand Vermont’s workforce is adding more “enhancements” to the state’s signature business incentive program. But one top state official has long questioned a core principle of that program.

John Minchillo / AP

NPR is reporting that "a federal grand jury has indicted 13 Russians and three Russian entities in connection with the attack on the 2016 presidential election."

Included in the indictment are details of how the accused allegedly used social media to disseminate information in support of Sen. Bernie Sanders' and Donald Trump's presidential campaigns.

According to the Vermont Commission on Women, 75 percent of women who report sexual harassment in the workplace say they've experienced retaliation for speaking up.
Kameleon007 / iStock

Sixty percent of women say they've experienced sexual harassment at work, according to the Vermont Commission on Women, and three out of four of those women report experiencing retaliation for speaking up. Now House lawmakers are updating Vermont's sexual harassment laws to protect victims' rights and ban settlements that can silence victims and favor employers.

The Vermont Senate has voted for a bill that raises the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over a 6 year period
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to legislation that increases the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over a 6 year period.

A complaint filed by Ismina Francois in 2016 has put a magnifying glass on working conditions for employees of color at the state-run psychiatric hospital in Berlin.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

While allegations of racial harassment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin made news last week, records show that they were hardly isolated incidents: The state regularly fields complaints of race-based harassment and discrimination at agencies across state government.

House lawmakers say a proposed overhaul to education funding  would lessen reliance on the property tax, and discourage higher-spending districts from increasing their school budgets.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

House lawmakers have advanced a bill that would prevent the state from handing over voter data to the federal government.

Independent U.S. Senate candidate Brad Peacock says he's running for Sanders' senate seat because Sanders is encouraging young people to get involved in politics
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Sen. Bernie Sanders has encouraged young people to get involved in politics, and one Vermonter has answered that call — by challenging the sitting senator for his place in the U.S. Senate.

Marijuana clones grow behind glass in Milton, Vt., at the headquarters of Champlain Valley Dispensary/Southern Vermont Wellness, run by Shayne Lynn.
Emily Corwin / VPR File

Right now, the Vermont government is running — in small part — on medical marijuana patients' registration fees. This fact has some medical marijuana patients up in arms.

Solar trackers installed in South Burlington in a field on a cloudy day are pictured in this July 27, 2011
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

A new economic analysis shows that Vermont lost 232 full-time jobs in the solar industry last year.

Chittenden Couty Sen. Chris Pearson says Vermont could improve enforcement of state water quality laws by allowing citizens to sue polluters.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As environmental advocates grow increasingly worried about whether government regulators will adequately enforce new water quality rules, some lawmakers want to give regular citizens the authority to hold polluters to account.

A recently passed Vermont House bill addresses questions of parenthood that are not covered by existing state law.
Cogent-Marketing / iStock

When Vermont's Parentage Act was passed in 1984, same-sex marriage and assisted fertility were not issues contained in the law. A bill recently passed by the House attempts to provide Vermont's judiciary with updated guidelines on matters of legal parenthood.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passage of a property tax reform package is a top priority for this session
Angela Evancie / VPR file

A proposal is being developed representing the first major change to education financing in Vermont in over a decade, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's committed to making it a reality.

With tax day on the horizon, there are growing concerns that some people who are owed a tax refund might have their refund stolen if when criminals file for it first. Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom joined Vermont Edition to discuss the scope of the problem and what the state does to protect against fraudulent filings and payments.

Broadcast live on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Vermont Supreme Court in Montpelier.
Lillian Kate Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

At first glance, the numbers look optimistic. After three years of increases in family court cases related to addiction such as child abuse and neglect, numbers were down for fiscal year 2017.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson joins "Vermont Edition" to discuss some of her priorities this legislative session.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passing a paid family leave bill this year is one of her top priorities.

We're talking with Speaker Johnson about that bill, plus education funding, water quality, the push for a higher minimum wage and other big issues.

It seemed like an uncontroversial move when the Lebanon, New Hampshire, school board voted last fall to ban faculty, students, and members of the public from bringing firearms onto school property, into school vehicles, and to school events on any property in the city.

A complaint filed by Ismina Francois in 2016 has put a magnifying glass on working conditions for employees of color at the state-run psychiatric hospital in Berlin.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

After allegations of racial harassment at the Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital in Berlin, Gov. Phil Scott says his administration is reviewing workplace conditions at the state-run facility.

Former Windsor County State's Attorney Robert Sand told lawmakers this week that the advent of marijauna legalization in Vermont should compel lawmakers to revisit the expungement process for misdemeanor cannabis convictions.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

After making some drastic changes to the state’s cannabis laws earlier this year, some lawmakers are now asking whether they should make it easier for people to expunge their old misdemeanor marijuana convictions.

Senate Health and Welfare chairwoman Sen. Claire Ayer is backing a plan to allow Vermont to purchase some prescription drugs from Canada at much lower costs
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The Vermont Senate Committee on Health and Welfare has given its unanimous approval to legislation designed to save Vermont consumers and state government programs millions of dollars in prescription drug costs.

A sign posted at Vermont Public Radio showcases the rise in state minimum wage over recent years. The photo has a filter out areas of the document while leaving other parts in focus.
Photo: Emily Alfin Johnson; Photo Illustration: Meg Malone / VPR

A key Vermont Senate committee has given its approval to legislation increasing the state minimum wage to $15 an hour over a 6-year period.