Government & Politics

About this time, I start fretting about filing my yearly tax return. I try to make sure that enough is withheld from my middle-class paycheck, but sometimes I get a nasty surprise in April, and have to send the feds more money.

The Vermont Statehouse with snow around it.
Henry Epp / VPR File

While the weather outside has been frightfully cold, things are heating back up at the Statehouse with the start of the second year of the Legislature's biennium. And Vermont Edition will be there for the opening day.

For me, 2017 was “The Year of Anxiety.”

Upward view of the Vermont Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Citizen legislators from across Vermont return to the Statehouse Wednesday morning for the second half of the legislative biennium, and many lawmakers are preparing for an unusually busy year in Montpelier.

Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe says finding ways to reduce the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority for him in the new session
Angela Evancie / VPR FILE

Lawmakers return to Montpelier on Wednesday to tackle a number of key issues during the 2018 session. One bill that will receive close scrutiny could significantly reduce the cost of prescription drugs for all Vermonters.

Vermont lawmakers face a number of critical decisions in 2018, related to clean water funding, property tax reform, and whether to raise the minimum wage.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Here's what issues are top of mind as the legislative session begins, and what's planned for the opening days.

They say truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. But this doesn’t mean certain truths aren’t verifiable. Much depends on the granularity and scope of a statement.

Whiskey bottle pouring into a glass with ice.
igorr1 / iStock

Prohibition might have been repealed in 1933, but modern-day bootleggers are still sidestepping state liquor laws. Now Vermont officials want heavier penalties for people trafficking booze from neighboring New Hampshire.

Vermont Statehouse dome on a cloudy day.
Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

State revenues are the life blood of Vermont government, but projecting just how much money will be coming into state coffers next year could be more difficult than usual.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here in his Montpelier office on the one year anniversary into his two-year gubernatorial term.
Henry Epp / VPR

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott was sworn in nearly a year ago. Scott, a Republican, was elected after Democrat Peter Shumlin's six-year tenure.

Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos is urging Congress to release nearly $400 million from a special fund to help states upgrade their voting systems to protect them from future cyberattacks.

Although many vote tabulators in Vermont are 20 years old, Condos says it would be extremely difficult for anyone to hack into these machines.

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

Legislative leaders say they plan to take a close look at a proposal to require that all Vermonters have health insurance.

Republican Randy Brock, seen here in 2011 announcing his ultimately unsuccessful bid for governor, has been appointed by Gov. Phil Scott to fill Franklin County's vacant seat in the Vermont Senate.
AP File/Toby Talbot

Randy Brock, the former Republican state auditor who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2012, and for lieutenant governor last year, is making a return to Vermont’s political scene.

The Washington County State's Attorney's Office collected donations for a community fund that — in fact — doesn't exist. And in a few cases, charges against individuals were dropped after they made donations to the fund, according to reporting by the Time-Argus.

Fantasy sports companies, like DraftKings and FanDuel will now be subject to tighter regulations in the state of Vermont. The companies that run fantasy sports often sponsor tournaments like the one seen here in 2015.
Kathy Willens / AP/file

The Scott Administration has signed off on a regulatory structure for fantasy sports companies in Vermont.

Updated at 2:10 p.m. ET

So much happened in 2017, it's hard to believe.

Ranking the top stories of the year is nearly impossible, especially with so many consequential, eye-popping and fast-moving things that happened.

The Green Mountain Care Board has approved a proposal that it hopes will revolutionize how health care providers are reimbursed in Vermont.

A Jersey heifer peers through a door used to push manure into a manure pit.
Emily Corwin / VPR

A leading source of contamination in Vermont's lakes is nitrate pollution leeching from animal manure on dairy farms. Now VPR Investigative Reporter Emily Corwin has found those nitrates are also finding their way into groundwater and private wells across the state. 

Accountants say the federal tax overhaul could not only change your tax bill, but also influence the choices homeowners, nonprofits, and businesses make.
U.S. Air Force

A major overhaul to how our country collects taxes has passed through Congress and now awaits the President's signature to become law. What does it mean for Vermont taxpayers? Vermont Edition dives into the details of the new tax plan with an accountant and the state tax commissioner.

Troubled times lead to grand schemes.

Recently, pundits like David Brooks of The New York Times have called for a new national history to be taught in schools as a way preserving American unity.

Pages