Government & Politics

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down “agency fees” taken by public sector unions from non-members’ paychecks.

A group of Democratic senators have introduced a bill on Tuesday that would require the U.S. census and the country's largest survey to start directly asking about sexual orientation and gender identity.

If the Census Equality Act becomes law, sexual orientation and gender identity questions would have to be added to forms for the census by 2030 and for the American Community Survey — a survey that about 1 in 38 households are required by federal law to complete every year — by 2020.

Environmental Court Judge Thomas Durkin listens as Conservation Law Foundation lawyer Elena Mihaly argues Monday that the court should reject nine sewage treatment plant permits.
John Dillon / VPR

A Vermont environmental court judge expressed concerns for the health of Lake Champlain on Monday as he heard an environmental group challenge state permits that would allow more pollution to be released into the lake.

A vehicle in Canada waits for a gate to rise while crossing into Derby Line, Vermont from Stanstead, Quebec in July 2018.
Charles Krupa / AP

Arrests of immigrants attempting to cross the Canadian-Vermont border have more than doubled this year, with most of those arrests coming from people trying to enter the U.S. illegally, according to reporter Elizabeth Hewitt's story with VTDigger

Many news sources report that the Vermont Department for Children and Families, or DCF, is having to take responsibility for rapidly increasing numbers of children.

Anya Tynio is one of two Republicans vying for the GOP nomination for Vermont's seat in the U.S. House.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Anya Tynio is one of two candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. House seat currently held by Peter Welch. Vermont Edition spoke to her about her run, her support for President Trump and where she stands on issues including immigration, tariffs, gun control and health care.

Author Rick Winston's book "Red Scare In The Green Mountains" looks at the era of McCarthyism in Vermont from 1946 through 1960.
Rootstock Publishing, courtesy

Blacklists and attacks on the free press. Intolerance and fear used for political gain. The Red Scare and anti-communist McCarthyism flourished across America—and Vermont—in the 1940s and 50s. We're talking with author Rick Winston about his new book looking at instances of "red scare" and "red-baiting" in Vermont.

I was driving through the empty, sage-covered rangeland of eastern Washington one time when I saw a giant sign that said “Ron Paul for President.”

Sen. Patrick Leahy is the senior member of two Senate committees that are investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials
Susan Walsh / AP File

Sen. Patrick Leahy says the U.S. Senate needs to review the full paper trail involving Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.

A cow looking through a fence.
Angela Evancie / VPR

On Tuesday, the Trump administration announced a $12 billion aid package for farmers hurt by the administration's trade policy. But details on the plan remain scarce, and Vermont officials are waiting to see what impact it will have on the state's agriculture sector.

A majority of Vermonters say they support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour. Democrats hope Gov. Phil Scott's opposition to the wage increase will hurt support for Republicans in the November elections.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The VPR - Vermont PBS Poll shows a majority of Vermonters favor raising the state minimum wage to $15 per hour — and Democrats hope popular support for the wage increase will lead to electoral gains in November.

At a meeting in Hartford, a roomful of people listen to VTrans project manager JB McCarthy talk about plans to install a temporary fence on the Quechee Gorge bridge.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Vermont Agency of Transportation says it wants to have a temporary fence up on the Quechee Gorge Bridge before the middle of September to try to cut down on any more suicides at the popular tourist attraction.

The Trump administration is coming to the aid of farmers hurt by its own hard-line trade policies, announcing Tuesday that it will make an estimated $12 billion in government assistance available, including direct payments to growers.

The money comes after farmers, especially soybean growers, have felt the brunt of retaliatory tariffs placed on agriculture by China and other nations that the Trump administration has penalized with tariffs on imports.

The VPR-Vermont PBS Poll found that 27 percent of Vermonters are either very likely or somewhat likely to consume cannabis in the near. Of those, about one quarter say their interest is due to the advent of legalization.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR file

Thousands of Vermonters say they're more likely to consume cannabis now that the drug is legal in this state, according to results of the new VPR - Vermont PBS Poll. But experts say it’s tough to know precisely how the advent of legalization will affect usage rates in Vermont.

Electric vehicles and a charging station in Burlington, where utilities and car dealerships announced new incentives for electric cars on Tuesday.
Henry Epp / VPR File

The panel that oversees Vermont’s utilities says alternative forms of regulation could help spur investment in renewable energy or additional energy conservation.

Bristol Democrat Ethan Sonneborn is 14 years old and running in the Democratic primary to be the party's pick for governor.
courtesy Ethan Sonneborn

Bristol Democrat Ethan Sonneborn is one of four registered candidates seeking the party's nomination for governor in the Aug. 14 primary. At 14 years old, he's by far the youngest, which he hopes will engage more young people in politics. We're talking with the candidate about his platform and why he's seeking the job of governor.

Gov. Phil Scott signed the gun bill into law at contentious ceremony at the Statehouse in April. A gun rights group says several provisions in the new law violate the Vermont Constitution.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott came under fire from gun-rights advocates when he signed a sweeping gun bill earlier this year, but the VPR - Vermont PBS Poll shows two-thirds of Vermonters support the new law.

The Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield. In a report to the federal government, Vermont disclosed that 17 inmates were sexually victimized in state-run prisons last year.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

The Joint Fiscal Office will do a complete evaluation of the state’s prison health care system.

Manchester real estate broker Lawrence Zupan is one of four Republicans vying to win the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate.
courtesy Lawrence Zupan

Lawrence Zupan is a Manchester-area real estate broker and self-described “political novice” who’s one of four candidates to be the Republican nominee to the U.S. Senate. We're talking to him about his background, experience and what he would aim to achieve as Vermont's junior senator.

An image of the Vermont state flag.
btgbtg / iStock.com

A new VPR-Vermont PBS Poll out Monday takes the pulse of Vermonters ahead of the upcoming 2018 elections. We're digging into the poll results and looking at what issues Vermonters say are most important.

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