Mitzi Johnson

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.

Gov. Phil Scott says the commission's findings bolster his case for a statewide teacher contract.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they’re considering potentially significant changes to the process used to investigate allegations of sexual harassment in the Vermont Statehouse.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they're reviewing the policies that each chamber uses to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe have outlined their key priorities for the legislative session that begins in January.

Chittenden Sen. Chris Pearson says Vermont can reduce carbon emissions and stimulate the economy by increasing the price of gas and home heating oil, and lowering electric rates.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Backers of the latest proposal for a carbon tax in Vermont say lawmakers can increase the price of gasoline and home heating oil without inflicting financial stress on residents and businesses.

As we head into the 2018 legislative session, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson will be looking at education funding and a possible carbon tax for Vermont.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

How will Vermont control education spending? Solving that puzzle will be on House Speaker Mitzi Johnson's docket as she heads into the 2018 legislative session, especially as Gov. Phil Scott considers higher staff-to-student ratios.

Gov. Phil Scott says his adminstration's plan for the Volkswagen settlement money will reduce harmful air emissions from automobiles. But environmental groups want assurances that the money will be used to electrify the state's transportation fleet.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott presented his plan Wednesday for how to spend money from one of the largest environmental settlements in state history, but the proposal is already drawing fire from some environmental groups.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, center, says Vermont lawmakers will consider numerous bills next year that would give Vermonters more recourse when their personal data is hacked.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont lawmakers say they’ll try to put new safeguards on residents’ personal data in the next session, after the massive security breach at Equifax earlier this year.

Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders announced details of a compromise Wednesday that will require school districts across Vermont to cut spending by $13 million over the next two years.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

School districts across Vermont will be forced to reduce spending by $13 million over the next two years as part of a compromise in Montpelier that has cleared the political logjam holding up passage of the state budget.

A deal between Democratic lawmakers and the Scott administration has paved the way for passage of critical budget and tax bills.
Doug Kerr / Flickr

A tentative compromise between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health benefits appears to have resolved a weeks-long political standoff that had threatened passage of the budget and a key tax bill.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

A political confrontation over the issue of teacher health benefits has become the signature issue of the 2017 legislative session, but it’s being resolved almost entirely outside of the formal legislative process. The closed-door negotiations between a handful of Democratic lawmakers and the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott have shrouded the policy making process from public view.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Democratic lawmakers and members of the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott returned to the negotiating table Thursday to try to hammer out a deal over the budget and property tax bills that Scott vetoed last week.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they're reviewing the policies that each chamber uses to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Lawmakers won’t be back for their veto session until June 21, but Senate President Time Ashe says he hopes to have a resolution with Republican Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health care well before they return.

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

The 2017 legislative session has adjourned, but Vermont’s fiercest political fight in recent memory has only just begun.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont appears to be headed for its first budget veto in nearly a decade.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson has unveiled a plan she hopes will end the month-long standoff in Montpelier over the issue of health benefits for public school employees. But Democrats’ efforts to appease Republican Gov. Phil Scott could cost them a key political ally in the process.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they're reviewing the policies that each chamber uses to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

A seemingly unbridgeable divide between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers has again postponed legislative adjournment, forcing the two sides back to the Statehouse next week to try to negotiate a compromise over the issue of teacher health care benefits.

The issue of whether to levy a tax on carbon pollution hasn't gained much traction yet in Montpelier. Vermont Businesses for Social Responsiblity is trying to broaden support for the concept.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

As they battle with Republican Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health benefits, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are trying to cast themselves as champions of property tax relief with a new plan for guaranteed savings in the education system.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

VPR's comprehensive coverage of the last days of the legislative session continues on Monday when House Speaker Mitzi Johnson is our guest on Vermont Edition.  We get her perspective on the dramatic last-minute twists in state budget negotiations, teacher health care and marijuana legalization.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Late Wednesday night, the Democratically controlled Vermont House of Representatives almost did the unthinkable by passing a proposal put forth by Republican Gov. Phil Scott that would drastically overhaul the collective bargaining process for public school teachers.

At least 15 Democrats joined forces with independents and Republicans in the Vermont House of Representatives Wednesday night to nearly give Republican Gov. Phil Scott one of the biggest victories of his young tenure.

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