Vermont Legislature

Gov. Phil Scott is reconsidering his opposition to a primary enforcement seat belt law.
Angela Evancie / VPR

A new marijuana legalization plan has gotten some important support at the Statehouse, with House Judiciary Committee chairwoman Maxine Grad now backing the bill.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

When lawmakers return to the Statehouse on Wednesday, one of the first items up for debate is a bill that creates an ethics commission in Vermont.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

VPR's comprehensive coverage of the last days of the legislative session continues on Monday when House Speaker Mitzi Johnson is our guest on Vermont Edition.  We get her perspective on the dramatic last-minute twists in state budget negotiations, teacher health care and marijuana legalization.

Brennan Linsley / AP

The Vermont Senate has resurrected a bill that would legalize possession and cultivation of small amounts of marijuana, but it’s unclear whether the late-session compromise measure has the support needed to pass in the House.

Efforts to close out the 2017 legislative session by the end of this week have fizzled in Montpelier, where an impasse between Democratic leaders and Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health contracts has delayed adjournment until at least next week.

Toby Talbot / AP

Gov. Phil Scott's plan to have a statewide teachers' health care contract is emerging as a key issue at the end of the session. But many Democrats want these negotiations left at the local level. A roundtable of political reporters is with us to look at the latest developments from the Statehouse.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Late Wednesday night, the Democratically controlled Vermont House of Representatives almost did the unthinkable by passing a proposal put forth by Republican Gov. Phil Scott that would drastically overhaul the collective bargaining process for public school teachers.

At least 15 Democrats joined forces with independents and Republicans in the Vermont House of Representatives Wednesday night to nearly give Republican Gov. Phil Scott one of the biggest victories of his young tenure.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they're trying to include as many lawmakers as possible in the negotiations with Gov. Phil Scott.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The prospect of a gubernatorial veto is suddenly looming large over budget negotiations in Montpelier, where intractable differences over the future of teacher health care benefits are threatening to derail a late-session compromise between Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

There's no question that the Vermont House and Senate have very different views concerning the legalization of marijuana. In the final days of the session, some lawmakers are trying to bridge this gap with a new compromise plan.

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

Vermont lawmakers are hoping to end the legislative session by the end of this week, but there are some big issues still being debated.

Yarygin / iStock

The Vermont House narrowly passed a marijuana legalization bill late Tuesday night after hours of debate, but the legislation is not expected to advance further this year.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A late-session budget proposal from Republican Gov. Phil Scott has Democratic lawmakers suddenly contemplating new ways to book savings in the public education system.

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

The Vermont House is expected to pass legislation this week that would create a statewide paid family and medical leave program. But the bill will face a number of hurdles to passage when the Senate takes up the proposal next year, and might see its progress hampered by a corresponding push to raise the minimum wage.

The Vermont House has given its approval to legislation that creates an ethics commission to investigate ethics complains about state officials. 

Outline of Vermont on top of collage of $1 bills.
Vepar5 / iStock.com

As we near the end of the legislative session, budget and tax issues are a focus at the Statehouse. VTDigger reporter Elizabeth Hewitt joins Vermont Edition to discuss the budget plans that were voted on in the House and Senate, as well as a recent proposal from the governor.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Two years ago, Vermont started a public pre-K program that pays for up to 10 hours of preschool for 3-to-5-year olds. Now, the state has issued a report for the Legislature that shows that there have been mixed results so far.

Meriel Jane Waissman / iStock

As concerns increase over internet privacy and the safety of personal information, Vermont is considering a bill to look closer into the activities of "data brokers."

Senate lawmakers have given unanimous approval to a state budget that includes funding for a range of spending initiatives that did not make it into House’s spending plan. But the accounting tactic used by the Senate to fund those programs will be a major point of contention as legislative leaders enter negotiations for a consensus budget plan.

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

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.

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