Government & Politics

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

With the stroke of the governor’s pen on Monday, Vermont became the 14th state to allow same-day voter registration. Proponents say the measure will help improve low turnout rates in Vermont elections. Critics though say it could make it easier to sabotage the democratic process.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Peter Shumlin says Vermont finally has the elusive piece of technology it needs to resolve problems on the state’s troubled health insurance exchange. 

It could still be months, however, before all Vermont Health Connect customers will enjoy the benefits. And critics aren't convinced this new fix will be the silver bullet Shumlin says it is. 

FuatKose / iStock

During the last legislative session, a group called Alliance for a Healthier Vermont pushed for an excise tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, that would raise an estimated $30 million for Vermont.

So some might call it a victory that lawmakers instead decided to apply the state's 6 percent sales tax to soda and candy. But advocates aren't convinced, and plan to continue to push for the excise tax.

Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

The U.S. Senate will meet in a rare Sunday session to discuss the future of the Patriot Act. There's a lot of attention surrounding this issue because the act will expire Sunday night unless Congress votes to reauthorize it.

An unusual problem with Vermont’s Emergency 911 network briefly prevented a number of calls from getting through this week.

For nearly an hour Thursday morning, some calls to Vermont’s E -911 system triggered a series of additional "phantom" calls that appeared to come from the same address and phone number as the original.

They were routed to call-takers who, finding no one at the other end of the line, initiated a procedure in which they try to reach someone at that number.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott said Thursday he's considering a run for governor in 2016.

Responding to questions from listeners on VPR's Vermont Edition, Scott said that he's doing some soul searching.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Thousands of supporters gathered at Burlington's waterfront this week to cheer on Sen. Bernie Sanders as he officially kicked off his presidential campaign, but not everyone is taking the bid as seriously.

The upsurge of Middle East violence in recent days - particularly the latest battlefield successes of the extremist group Islamic State - has tended to overshadow the fact that time is running short, to finalize a comprehensive Iranian nuclear deal. June 30th is the date that Iran - and six world powers including the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany - set for the completion of that agreement. Its purpose is to keep Iran from developing a nuclear weapon - in exchange for the lifting of the range of economic sanctions imposed by the world community on Iran because of its nuclear activities.

Oliver Parini for VPR

Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off his 2016 presidential campaign with a rally in Burlington Tuesday.

The Shumlin administration is finalizing its plan to reduce state labor costs by almost $11 million in the next fiscal year.

Last January, officials predicted that as many as 300 state employees might be laid off. But under the new plan, this number will be drastically reduced.

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