Vermont Legislature

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Tucked away in this year's several-hundred-page budget bill is a very small section that could have a big impact on the operations of the Vermont Lottery. It's a change that has strongly divided the House and the Senate.

The issue? Whether or not electronic lottery consoles should be allowed in bars.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In the two-person battle for the Republican nomination for governor, GOP lawmakers are closing ranks behind Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. 

Angela Evancie / VPR

Following the defeat this week of a marijuana legalization bill, House Democratic leaders are exploring the possibility of putting the issue to Vermonters in November with a non-binding referendum.

Ben Curtis / AP

Until recently, Vermont was on track to become the fifth state in the nation to ban the sale of ivory. But the legislation has suddenly derailed, and hopes for its passage are dwindling as the end of the session nears.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Under a new law signed Wednesday, Vermonters will be informed within hours if any sewage is dumped or spilled into streams, rivers and lakes.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

An attempt to define the difference between employees and independent contractors turned into one of the most controversial bills of the 2016 legislative session. The legislation met its demise this week when a procedural maneuver, orchestrated by the leader of the House Progressive caucus, led to a decision to pull it from the House floor. But the issue isn’t going away.

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Marijuana legalization is dead for the 2016 session. The Vermont House Tuesday rejected an amendment that would have decriminalized the growing of two plants by a vote of 77 to 70. Lawmakers earlier defeated a Senate plan for commercial marijuana sales.  

The Vermont Senate has given its approval to a bill legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana
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A long-awaited floor debate on the plan to legalize cannabis finally gets underway in the House today after lawmakers unexpectedly postponed discussion Monday night.

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The House Democratic leadership backed away from a vote on legalizing marijuana Monday night as a more modest compromise plan was being drafted for consideration.

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Doctors in Vermont will soon face new limits on the number of narcotic pain pills they can prescribe to patients.

Brennan Linsley / AP

House Speaker Shap Smith says the House will debate a bill legalizing marijuana Monday.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The 2016 legislation session is in its final days with a number of key issues yet to be decided. Issues like the legalization marijuana, the creation of an ethics commission, and an energy siting bill.

We’re talking with House Speaker Shap Smith about his top priorities for the rest of the session.

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Gov. Peter Shumlin wants House Speaker Shap Smith to bring a bill legalizing marijuana to the House floor for a vote, but Smith says he's not going to do this at this time because there's not nearly enough support in the House to pass the legislation.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

If you ask Donald Trump, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is over. After a sweep of five states in the most recent primary contests Tuesday, Trump proclaimed himself the presumptive GOP nominee, even if his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich and their supporters would disagree.

Steven Senne / Associated Press

With the House and Senate deadlocked on a bill legalizing marijuana, a possible compromise is to present this issue to voters in a nonbinding referendum in November.

While Vermont's political system calls on voters to approve proposed Constitutional amendments using a statewide referendum, the process doesn't allow for the consideration of other issues using this approach.

Vermont Statehouse dome on a cloudy day.
Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

The House has advanced legislation that's designed to give towns a greater role in determining where renewable energy projects are sited.

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The Vermont House has advanced legislation that's designed to make dental care more accessible to low-income people throughout the state. The legislation creates a new category of professional within the state's dentistry system.

A downtown Newport development project is in doubt following fraud allegations against the project developers. State and local officials met this week to talk more about the project's future but few answers were found.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont Senate has rejected a proposed Constitutional amendment that would have created "a right to privacy."

Backers said the proposal was needed to keep up with the enormous technological changes taking place in society. But opponents argued the measure could overturn a number of state laws.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

The fate of a proposed redevelopment project in downtown Newport – halted since March – is now even less clear following allegations of fraud against two Northeast Kingdom developers, Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros.  

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