State Government

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

Last week the Vermont House of Representatives passed a resolution recognizing “the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S. and Vermont Black communities.”

But Rep. Kiah Morris, a Democratic lawmaker from Bennington, told Vermont Edition she was stunned by some of her colleagues’ comments made before and after the resolution was passed.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The state of Vermont needs to do a better job justifying its rulings in cases of alleged employee misconduct, according to a pair of new reports from the office of State Auditor Doug Hoffer.

Toby Talbot / AP

International energy giant TransCanada says it wants to sell its series of power dams on the Connecticut River. And House Speaker Shap Smith and other lawmakers think the state should consider purchasing the power generating hydro system.

Angela Evancie / VPR

It's been a full week in Vermont politics.  We've seen a lot in just a few days: from the legislative kickoff and Governor Shumlin's State of the State address, to the suspension of Senator McAllister and Donald Trump coming to Burlington. We're talking about this week's events and implications with a lineup of top political reporters.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

State government is one of the biggest spenders in Vermont, with public agencies shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars annually for programs and services. But the process used to contract for state services has come under scrutiny, and a report from State Auditor Doug Hoffer raises questions about whether bureaucrats are getting the best bang for taxpayers’ bucks.

Angela Evancie / VPR File Photo

The next legislative session doesn't begin until January, but some lawmakers are already working on next year's budget challenges. And a prominent Republican says closed-door meetings between lawmakers and administration officials are side-stepping what should be a public process.

Fund Established For Children Of Slain DCF Worker

Oct 2, 2015

The Vermont State Employees Association has established a fund to support the children of a slain Department for Children and Families worker.

The fund will support the children of Lara Sobel, who police said was shot and killed in August outside her workplace in Barre by Jody Herring, who, according to court documents, was angry over the removal of her child from her home.

Utah just reported a large, unexpected surplus. In some recent years Texas created as many jobs as all other states combined. Natural resources have sparked economic expansion in North Dakota. States including Arkansas and North Carolina have reduced taxes to attract investment and growth.

Last month an environmental coalition called “Energy Independent Vermont” announced it would do battle in Montpelier for a new tax – the carbon tax.

The coalition says Vermont needs a new tax on natural gas, heating oil, propane, gasoline and diesel fuel in order to combat what it calls “climate pollution – the biggest environmental challenge of our generation!”

The practice of allowing our legislature, rather than Vermont voters, to resolve an inconclusive gubernatorial election is a vestige of power originally reserved to our Legislature, then largely white, male property owners, when our state was formed. I think it’s time to amend our State Constitution to always have Vermont voters complete the process.