Vermont Legislature

A smartphone screen with a variety of travel app icons, including Airbnb in the center of the screen.
Wachiwit / iStock

A newly issued legislative report says online home sharing services like Airbnb should be regulated locally. But one of the lawmakers who requested the study says oversight should happen on a statewide level.

The Bellows Falls Police Department arrested a man recently with about 1,000 bags of heroin in his car. Police Chief Ron Lake, pictured above, asked this year for a new officer to combat the heroin crisis but the voters rejected his request.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Senate Government Operations Committee is holding a series of meetings across the state to look at how Vermont pays for and uses its law enforcement services.

Teachers picketed outside the Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes in Burlington on Sept. 14. A new bill to be considered during the 2018 session would prohibit teachers from striking in Vermont.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

More than half of the states in the U.S. prohibit teachers from striking. Should Vermont join them?

A screenshot of the Airbnb website, taken Sept. 20, shows some available rentals in Vermont. A Vermont working group is studying short-term rentals, prompting Airbnb to reach out to Vermont hosts registered on the site to share their experiences.
Screenshot from Airbnb.com

Airbnb says more than 3,600 people across the state use the online service to rent out their homes. Now the company is asking those homeowners to get involved with a statewide study that could impact the future of home sharing in Vermont.

In 2007, the state of Vermont established a goal of cutting the child poverty rate in half over a 10-year span. The Vermont Child Poverty Council was formed to study and recommend policies to succeed in this effort — but when the deadline was reached this June, the state had not met the goal it set a decade ago.

Earlier this summer, photos of Christopher Hayden were posted at the Vt. Democratic Party's Montpelier offices after Hayden sent death threats to the party's Vermont chairman, Faisal Gill. Hayden has recently been sending racist emails to state lawmakers.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

A Burlington man has been directing a barrage of racist emails to members of the Vermont Legislature.

Tom Kavet, an economist working for the Vermont Legislature, says there are challenges to forecasting the economic effects of a $15 minimum wage.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR File Photo

As the Vermont Legislature prepares for a debate next year over raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, lawmakers are trying to figure out how the proposal would affect the Vermont economy.

Earlier this summer, the state's economist told the Vermont Legislature that the revenue forecast for the rest of the year had been downgraded to the tune of $28 million.

Some of that gap had already been anticipated and addressed by lawmakers, but Gov. Phil Scott had to come up with a plan for how to cut the remainder out of the current budget. Last Thursday, Scott presented his plan to the LegislatureVermont Edition spoke with VPR's Peter Hirschfeld about how it went.

Gov. Phil Scott says he would support a "libertarian approach" to legalizing personal possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Throughout his political career as a state senator, lieutenant governor and now as governor, Phil Scott has always opposed legislation that would allow police to stop drivers who are not wearing a seat belt. But the governor says he's now rethinking how he feels about this issue.

When you're the economist for the Vermont legislature, sometimes you have to deliver unwelcome news to lawmakers.

Tristan Toleno, left, Annmarie Christensen and Rodney Graham serve in Vermont's House of Representatives.
Angela Evancie & Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont’s citizen legislators get paid about $12,700 for five months of work. So, if you have a career and/or a family, how do you pull it off?

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

Supporters of a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour hope a new summer study committee will lay the groundwork for passage in 2018.

Vermont will study how so-called 'rape kits' are processed into evidence, as part of a new law that Gov. Phil Scott signed on Tuesday, July 17, 2017.
Rick Bowmer / AP

The governor signed two bills on Tuesday that extend protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Some of the changes have been long in coming for the advocates who work on these issues.

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

Vermont has a state budget for the new fiscal year that didn't raise any new taxes or fees, but some elected officials – including Gov. Phil Scott – are already thinking ahead to the financial impact that cuts at the federal level could bring to the state.

Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

Gov. Phil Scott and lawmakers finally compromised on the state budget last week, but the outcome creates a whole new set of financial dilemmas for school districts across Vermont. And the governor's veto of pot legalization disappointed supporters who thought it had a chance. We examine both controversies in a live interview with the governor.

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.

Ladybug crawls on a marijuana plant in Seattle on June 25, 2014.
Ted S. Warren / Associated Press File

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.

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