Vermont Legislature

Gov. Phil Scott discusses the Administration's property tax plan with Budget and Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin at the Statehouse on Tuesday afternoon
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he'll veto the newly passed state budget unless lawmakers agree not to increase the state's non-residential property tax rate.

Scott says he's giving legislative leaders until Thursday to find a solution that meets his requirements. But House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's not giving in to Scott's demands.

The statehouse in spring.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

With very little debate, the Vermont Senate Thursday afternoon gave its final approval to a state budget for next year. But Gov. Phil Scott has vowed to veto the bill.

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

In the midst of a political stalemate in Montpelier over the budget for the next year, what could end the disagreement between legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott? And how are Vermonters outside of the capitol understanding the dispute?

Retired Middlebury College political science professor Eric Davis joins Vermont Edition to discuss compromise, politics and the public perception of the political gridlock gripping the statehouse.

Sen. Tim Ashe speaking during a 2016 special session.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / VPR

Legislative leaders and Gov. Phil Scott can't seem to agree on property tax rates or a state budget for next year. But they do agree that a state government shutdown on July 1 would be a disaster for Vermont.

Vermont Edition talks with Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe about efforts to settle this disagreement and avoid a shutdown. 

Gov. Scott delivered his 2018 budget address before a joint session of the Vermont Legislature.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

Prior to this year, a Vermont governor had vetoed the budget only twice in state history. Gov. Phil Scott may soon match that number in 2018 alone.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee meet outside the House chamber Friday to consider a proposed budget amendment. The House gave preliminary approval to a new budet Friday, but Gov. Phil Scott says he'll veto it, unless they make changes.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Vermont House of Representatives has given preliminary approval to its second budget of the year, but the latest spending plan looks destined for the same gubernatorial veto the first one got.

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:

The exterior of the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier on a blue-sky day.
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 signed the gun bill into law at contentious ceremony at the Statehouse in April. A gun rights group says several provisions in the new law violate the Vermont Constitution.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

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.

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