Tim Ashe

VPR file

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, Gov. Phil Scott is calling on lawmakers to overhaul the collective bargaining process for public school teachers, so that his administration can try to extract $26 million in health care savings from the education system next year.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

The 2017 legislative session is winding down. What initiatives will become top priorities in the final few weeks before adjournment?

La_Corivo / iStock.com

Prospects for a marijuana legalization bill passing out of Montpelier this year grew even dimmer Tuesday, when key Senate lawmakers said their body is exceedingly unlikely to support the plan being considered in House.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

Backers of legislation that would raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 years old to 21 years old are urging members of the Senate to support their bill.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

As lawmakers look to defer again a politically difficult decision on how to pay for a $1 billion clean water initiative, advocates are ramping up pressure to adopt a financing plan before the 2017 legislative session adjourns.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Senate lawmakers say low pay for mental health workers has led to a bottleneck in crisis care, and they’re trying to find funding to boost wages for more than 2,000 employees across the state.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Last week, the Vermont Senate gave unanimous approval to a bill that would limit Vermont’s role in federal immigration enforcement. And for a group of young Vermonters on hand to witness the Senate debate, the legislation hits particularly close to home.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

In a unanimous 30-0 vote, the Vermont Senate has advanced legislation that's designed to blunt part of the impact of new immigration policies of the Trump Administration. 

Angela Evancie / VPR file

In the most highly anticipated speech of his political career, Gov. Phil Scott says he’ll unveil a state budget plan Tuesday afternoon that calls for zero growth in ongoing general fund expenditures.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Some Democratic lawmakers are expressing skepticism over a plan from Republican Gov. Phil Scott to merge the Department of Labor and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Backers of legislation that would create an Ethics Commission in Vermont say they're optimistic about the future of their bill. But some critics argue that the proposal doesn't go nearly far enough to restore public trust in the operations of government.

Washington County Sen. Ann Cummings has reclaimed the chairwomanship of the powerful Senate committee she lost in 2013 after trying to wrest leadership over the chamber from then-Senate President John Campbell.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont Legislature is back in session. We spent Wednesday checking in with the House. Now, we'll give the Senate a nod.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The opening day of the legislative biennium always features lots of firsts, but this year’s had even more than most. And with a new House Speaker, a new Senate president and a new governor in town, lawmakers are trying to get familiar with some uncharted legislative territory.

The Legislative session kicks off this week in Montpelier. On Wednesday, Sen. Tim Ashe took over as the President of the Vermont Senate.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

For the past four years, Chittenden County Sen. Tim Ashe has been chairman of a finance committee that oversees some of the state's most difficult revenue problems. As he prepares for his new role as Senate president pro tem, Ashe says Vermont's budget outlook is cloudier than ever.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

It appears the siting of industrial wind projects could be a key issue during the 2017 legislative session. That's because Governor-elect Phil Scott says he wants lawmakers to enact a two-year moratorium on all large, ridgeline wind proposals.

Toby Talbot / AP File

The chairman of Vermont’s Senate Finance Committee is calling Public Service Commissioner Chris Recchia before the Senate committee after documents revealed that Recchia removed key criticisms and reform recommendations from the department’s self-assessment report earlier this year.

“I will be inviting Commissioner Recchia to speak to committee tomorrow,” said Chittenden Sen. Tim Ashe in an email to VPR. “Needless to say, having written the language asking for this report, this is not pretty looking.”