Vermont Legislature

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

Lawmakers could have overridden two vetoes when they returned to Montpelier on Wednesday. The governor's veto of a pot legalization bill stands, but legislators did strike a deal to approve the state budget. However, their compromise with Gov. Phil Scott puts school boards on the hook to find cost savings.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he didn't encourage lawmakers to support the marijuana legalization bill during this week's veto session because passage of the legislation was not a high priority for him.

A legislative panel has deferred action on a proposal that could have significant impacts on the future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont.

Districts that have already negotiated employee health care plans, like the one that includes Stowe Middle and High School, will face some tough financial choices as a result of the budget compromise in Montpelier.
Ian Noyes / For VPR

Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott finally got a budget compromise on Wednesday, but in doing so, they’ve created a whole new set of financial dilemmas for school districts across Vermont.

Many House Republicans and some Democrats voted to block consideration of a new marijuana bill.
Ted S. Warren / AP

Backers of a new marijuana legalization bill say they’re very disappointed that many members of the House Republican caucus and a number of Democrats voted to block consideration of the legislation in Wednesday’s veto session.

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 golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

This week, lawmakers in Montpelier will hold a special veto session to address the big issues where agreement couldn't be reached before adjournment. Vermont Edition talks to top political reporters about days of behind-the-scenes negotiations between lawmakers and the Scott administration – and what any possible deals on the budget and marijuana legalization could look like.

Vermont's two U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders both strongly oppose the new GOP Senate health care plan
crazydiva / iStock

There were very few issues during the legislative session that were as partisan and divisive as the fight over teachers health care.

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 golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Disagreement over health care contracts for employees at public schools prompted next week's veto session, but it's not clear if the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers will be able to bridge the divide between them on this issue.

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.

A new advisory commission created by Gov. Phil Scott this week will focus on the issue of marijuana legalization in Vermont.
labuda / iStock

In May, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would legalize marijuana due to several public safety concerns. Now, lawmakers think they have a compromise that would win the governor's approval. 

Dr. Ajay Tunguturi, a neurologist at the University of Vermont Medical Center, demonstrates telemedicine with a mock patient connected securely from Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Health insurance in Vermont will soon be required to cover medical care delivered via telemedicine, even if the patient receiving the treatment isn't at a doctor's office.

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

These are uncertain times for many school boards across the state as they try to negotiate new labor contracts with local teachers unions.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he's pleased by the progress that's being made to draft a compromise marijuana legalization bill that lawmakers could consider in the upcoming veto session.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Public health advocates say the discovery of a toxic chemical in private drinking wells in southern Vermont last year exposes shortcomings in state regulatory oversight. But an effort to bolster consumer protections fell short in the Legislature this year.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Advocates for criminal justice reform hope a new law will curb racial disparities in police stops and incarceration rates.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Backers of a compromise plan to legalize the recreational use of marijuana to have a proposal ready for lawmakers to consider when a special veto session begins on June 21. But they're concerned that no action will take place.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The two big issues for the upcoming veto session in June will be the future of a bill legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and the fight over Gov. Phil Scott's plan to implement a statewide teachers' health care contract.

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