Government & Politics

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan has suggested that our economic recovery could be stoked by American women simply having more children.

Sara Teachout, with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, told legislators this week that the state can offset the loss of $12 million in federal revenues by changing the premium structure for certain health insurance plans.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont insurance companies say they’ve found a way to offset the effects of an executive order issued last year that would otherwise cost the state $12 million annually in lost revenue.

Marijuana plants.
Labuda / iStock

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to legislation legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. On a voice vote, the Senate backed a bill Wednesday that allows individuals to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow two mature plants.

Poverty in Vermont has steadily increased over the last ten years.
Dirty Dog Creative / iStock

Poverty is on the rise in Vermont, with roughly one in nine Vermonters struggling to make ends meet. It's a trend that's steadily increased over the last decade. A new report shows more Vermonters are struggling to pay for basics like food, housing, and child care. What policies will best help those who are struggling the most?

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman addresses supporters of a tax-and-regulate marijuana legalization plan at the Statehouse on Tuesday.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Supporters of a plan to tax and regulate the sale of marijuana are making it clear that the current legalization bill being considered by Vermont lawmakers is just one small step in a much broader effort.

The company that wants to buy and dismantle the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has proposed a new financial assurance plan that the state is now reviewing.
Toby Talbot / AP/file

A deal to sell and dismantle the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant needs more money to make it work, and negotiations are underway this week to resolve the issue.

NorthStar Decommissioning Holdings wants to buy the now closed Vermont Yankee plant. The company has said it could decommission the plant as early as 2026 – far earlier than the timetable proposed by the current owner, the Entergy Corporation.

President Trump’s nominee for the director of Health and Human Services is Alex Azar, formerly head of Eli Lily Company, one of America’s largest producers of pharmaceuticals.

Rep. Peter Welch is joined outside by members of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers on Monday in calling for a repeal of the federal ethanol mandate.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Rep. Peter Welch is renewing his call to repeal a federal law that mandates that most gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol.

Welch says the ethanol mandate has been an environmental and economic disaster and is wreaking havoc on the small engines that Vermonters use for work and recreation.

When cultural historian Kenneth Clark sought to highlight the most representative example of the 18th century Enlightenment, he singled out a twenty-eight volume French reference work with the unwieldy title Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts. It was an extraordinary accomplishment - a readily accessible summary of the range of human knowledge at the time.

Guard member on ground with a gun.
Spc. Avery Cunningham / U.S. Army National Guard

Several of the proposals Gov. Phil Scott made in his State of the State address Thursday involved Vermont's veterans and National Guard members. These include free tuition for guard members and removing the state income tax on military pensions.

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he wants to overturn a new Trump Administration policy that calls on the Department of Justice to crack down on states that have legalized marijuana
Office of Sen. Patrick Leahy, courtesy / file

Sen. Patrick Leahy says he strongly opposes a decision by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to have the Department of Justice crack down on states that have legalized marijuana and Leahy says he will do everything that he can to block this new policy from going into place.

For the last 60 Tuesdays, demonstrators have turned out in front of the Johnson village green to hold signs promoting activism and various progressive causes. Shown here are (l to r) Rick Aupperlee, Jackie Stanton, Diane Lehouiller and Calvin Stanton.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For the 60 weeks since Donald Trump was elected President, demonstrators have spent Tuesday evenings standing with signs in front of Johnson’s village green, even braving recent sub-zero temperatures to uphold the streak.

Sarah Evans, who formerly managed a safe injection site in Vancouver, told lawmakers that the facilities are associated with a reduction in overdoses, and an increase in addicts seeking treatment.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The rising toll of opioid addiction has policymakers looking for new ways to save lives, and Vermont lawmakers are giving serious consideration to a bill that would open the door to supervised drug injection sites.

Sen. Joe Benning (R- Caledonia, left), Sen. Francis Brooks (D-Washington, middle), and Sen. Ann Cummings (D-Washington) peruse a list of bills before the Senate on the first day of the 2018 Legislative session.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Lawmakers began the 2018 legislative session by putting landmark votes like legalizing marijuana at the top of their docket. Gov. Phil Scott outlined his own goals for the new year in his Thursday State of the State address.

When cultural historian Kenneth Clark sought to highlight the most representative example of the 18th century Enlightenment, he singled out a twenty-eight volume French reference work with the unwieldy title Encyclopedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts. It was an extraordinary accomplishment - a readily accessible summary of the range of human knowledge at the time.

The Vermont House has voted to prohibit the holding of "coyote killing" tournaments
Toby Talbot / Associated Press File

A plan to legalize the personal possession of small amounts of marijuana cleared an important hurdle Thursday evening when the Vermont House gave its approval to the legislation by a vote of 81 to 63.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott used his State of the State address Thursday to telegraph a forthcoming plan that would eliminate a 7-cent increase in statewide property tax rates next year.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

Gov. Phil Scott used his State of State Address Thursday to telegraph a potentially dramatic proposal for education funding in Vermont, saying he stands ready to block a 7-cent jump in next year’s statewide property tax rates.

Vermont Statehouse on a snowy day, Jan. 3, 2018
Kate Alfin Johnson / For VPR

Gov. Phil Scott delivered his State of the State address Thursday afternoon from the House Chamber of the Vermont Statehouse.

House Speaker MItzi Johnson welcomed lawmakers back to the Statehouse Wednesday morning. Legislative leaders have vowed to move ahead with major policy initiatives in 2018, but they're in many cases at odds over how to proceed.
Kate Alfin Johnson / For VPR

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they expect decisive action on major policy fronts during the 2018 legislative session, but as the session gets underway, it’s already clear that it’ll be tough to find consensus within the Legislature on many of those issues, let alone with Republican Gov. Phil Scott.

Ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant in Seattle on June 25, 2014.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File

Lawmakers are getting ready to debate and vote on the highly controversial issue of marijuana possession right at the start of the new session.

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