Vermont Legislature

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed legislation that would have created a new position in the executive branch to deal with systemic racism in state government. Scott, however, says he’s moving forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.

Campaigns for statewide and legislative candidates are now officialy underway after the May 31 filing deadline.
Jason Doiy / iStock

The deadline to file for elected office in Vermont was Thursday, May 31, and now campaigns for statewide and legislative candidates are officially underway. Here are the candidates just one day after the state's filing deadline:

With six days left until the fiscal year expires, Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers are still at odds over how much money the state should use to lower property tax rates next year.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers are inching closer to a budget compromise that would avoid the possibility of a government shutdown. But when it comes to the core issue that led to the impasse, the two sides remain at odds.

Zymora Davinchi, Rep. Kiah Morris, and Keith Goslant, from right, spoke in support of an ethnic studies bill at a forum in May. Supporters of the legisaltion have struggled to gain traction for the bill in Montpelier.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Racial justice advocates say students of color often don’t see themselves reflected in public school curriculum in Vermont, but supporters of an ethnic studies bill are having a tough time getting traction in Montpelier.

Gov-elect Phil Scott at a desk in 2016, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe at a 2017 press conference.
Pete Hirschfeld / VPR Files

Both House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe say a shutdown of state government on July 1 would be a disaster. And they've come up with a plan to avoid it.

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman is calling on Gov. Phil Scott to compromise on his "no new taxes" pledge to help facilitate a compromise at the Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

On Friday night, Gov. Phil Scott formally vetoed the tax and budget bills. Administration officials say Scott rejected a new compromise proposal because it includes an increase on the non-residential statewide property tax rate and they say Scott will never agree to any plan that raises taxes on Vermonters.

Vermont lawmakers are creating a way to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada. But how will the system ultimately work?
eyegelb / iStock

Vermont is embarking on an ambitious experiment to bring down the high cost of prescription drugs by importing cheaper medications from Canada. State lawmakers and the governor passed the proposal into law in mid-May, but the details - and federal approval - still need to be worked out. How will the plan actually work?

Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman is calling on Gov. Phil Scott to compromise on his "no new taxes" pledge to help facilitate a compromise at the Statehouse
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Will Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders be able to reach an agreement on property taxes and next year's state budget?

We're talking with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman about efforts to find a way forward before state government might have to be shut down on July 1.

Gov. Phil Scott called a special session, which started this week, after vowing to veto the state budget passed by lawmakers.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The acrimony in Montpelier has been clear for weeks as Gov. Phil Scott stuck to his promise not to sign the budget passed by lawmakers. Now elected officials are back in Montpelier for a special session to resolve the budget impasse, but with familiar arguments on both sides of the divide, are they any closer to an agreement?

Gov. Phil Scott signs three pieces of gun control legislation amid boos and cheers on the front steps of the statehouse Wednesday, April 11, 2018.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

In the last four days, 41 bills have become law in Vermont. Here's a breakdown of what they are, what they do and when they go into effect.

Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom, center, said in an email to employees Monday that their "anxiety" and "stress" over the prospect of a government shutdown is unncessary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

Last week, after telling lawmakers he’d be vetoing their state budget proposal, Gov. Phil Scott sent a letter to legislative leadership, insisting the two sides “are very close to an agreement.”

It appears Scott may have misjudged the severity of the divide.

A sign in Nanci Leitch's home in Guilford that she rents out with Airbnb.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A bill that would have placed new requirements on people who rent out their homes on websites like Airbnb will not likely survive this legislative session.

Looking up at the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Lawmakers and Gov. Phil Scott will meet again at the Statehouse Wednesday morning for a special session of the Vermont Legislature. 

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Lawmakers head back to the Statehouse Wednesday morning for a special legislative session, but leaders in the House and Senate don’t anticipate an action-packed agenda this week.

Gov. Phil Scott in April before signing three pieces of gun legislation into law. Today, he chose instead to veto legislation sent to him by the legislature.
Chip Allen / Times Argus

Gov. Phil Scott vetoed four bills Tuesday, including one that would have raised the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. Scott also vetoed legislation that would have created a mandatory paid family leave program in Vermont. 

Gov. Phil Scott has called for a special session to resolve the budget standoff in Montpelier.
John Dillon / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott has called lawmakers back to Montpelier for a special session next week to resolve the standoff over the state budget and property tax rates. We're convening a roundtable of political reporters to discuss what might happen next.

Lawmakers gathered in the Senate at the kickoff of the biennium in 2017. Now, lawmakers will return for a special session next week.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

Lawmakers and the Scott administration remain in a standoff after the state budget was passed with broad support from the legislature. Now, the governor has said he will call lawmakers back to a special session next week. VPR's Peter Hirschfeld joined Vermont Edition to talk about what happens next in Montpelier.

Lawmakers adjourned the legislative session on Saturday, but they'll be back in Montpelier soon to try to resolve a budget impasse with Gov. Phil Scott.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he'll call lawmakers back to Montpelier for a special session next Wednesday, but the budget impasse between the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers shows no signs of letting up.

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he's confident that he'll be able to reach an agreement with Democratic leaders in an upcoming Special Session over the issue of education spending. But Scott says raising property tax rates will definitely not be part of any agreement.

The minimum wage bill passed by the legislature would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. The current minimum wage is $10.50 an hour.
Photo by Angela Evancie, illustration by Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

The Vermont legislature has passed a bill that would raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024. But Gov. Scott has opposed the legislation and it's a target for a veto. We're talking about what's in the bill and the debate over how it would impact the state's businesses and low-income workers.

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