Vermont Legislature

Angela Evancie / VPR

At the start of the 2017 legislative session Wednesday, South Hero Rep. Mitzi Johnson was sworn in as Vermont's new speaker of the House. 

Meg Malone / VPR/file

On Wednesday,  an era begins in Vermont state government when the new Legislature convenes, and new leadership takes over in the House and Senate.  Vermont Edition is broadcasting live from the ornate Cedar Creek Room at the Statehouse for the opening day of the Legislature.

Angela Evancie / VPR

On Wednesday, a new era begins in Vermont state government when the new Legislature convenes, and new leadership takes over in the House and Senate. Vermont Edition is broadcasting live from the Cedar Creek Room at the Statehouse for the opening day of the Legislature.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

A very unusual legal case will be decided in Montpelier Tuesday. The Vermont Supreme Court will hold a special hearing to determine whether Gov. Peter Shumlin has the authority to appoint a new member to the court.

A study committee created by the Legislature will recommend that lawmakers create a public retirement program. The program would be designed for Vermont workers whose employers don’t offer them.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

For the past four years, Chittenden County Sen. Tim Ashe has been chairman of a finance committee that oversees some of the state's most difficult revenue problems. As he prepares for his new role as Senate president pro tem, Ashe says Vermont's budget outlook is cloudier than ever.

A legislative committee is recommending that districts that merge under Act 46 also consider consolidating their property assessment offices.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

As chairwoman of the House Committee on Appropriations, South Hero Representative Mitzi Johnson is no stranger to tough leadership assignments. As the presumptive Speaker of the House, Johnson is preparing to juggle more than just budget challenges next year, and says she wants to lawmakers to learn more about Vermont’s problems before they try to solve them.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

It appears the siting of industrial wind projects could be a key issue during the 2017 legislative session. That's because Governor-elect Phil Scott says he wants lawmakers to enact a two-year moratorium on all large, ridgeline wind proposals.

The Scott administration wants to reallocation existing revenues to pay for clean water initiatives, but lawmakers are worried the plan could shortchange other state programs.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR/File

Next month, Vermont Treasurer Beth Pearce will unveil a much-anticipated legislative report that will tell lawmakers how to raise the $1.3 billion needed to clean up Lake Champlain and other polluted waterways. And Governor-elect Phil Scott may soon find himself at odds with Democrats — and environmental advocates — over how to come up with the money.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

House Majority Leader Sarah Copeland-Hanzas is abandoning her bid to be speaker of the house, clearing a path for Grand Isle Democrat Mitzi Johnson to be Vermont’s next speaker when the Vermont Legislature convenes in 2017.

JJRD / iStock.com

More than 2,000 people in Vermont are enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana registry, but some lawmakers say many eligible patients still have trouble obtaining medical cannabis.

Proposed legislation would lower some of the barriers to access.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR/file

Longtime Washington Sen. Bill Doyle has made the formal request for a vote recount, after placing fourth in his three-member district on Election Day. He is trailing Democrat Francis Brooks by 187 votes.

Niklebedev51 / iStock.com

A state program created more than two years ago to fund improvements to internet service has yet to award any money.

Meg Malone; Patti Daniels / VPR file

Democrat Sue Minter and Republican Phil Scott say they support the creation of an ethics commission in Vermont, but sharply disagree over what constitutes a conflict of interest for elected officials.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Proponents of wind energy say they're worried that a state-funded research project will be used to misguide Vermonters about the health effects of turbine noise.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The high cost of child care poses a serious financial challenge for many families in Vermont. Next year, lawmakers are going to decide whether government should do more to help parents pay for it. 

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

A new study shows millions of pounds of produce go uneaten in Vermont every year and yet nearly 80,000 Vermonters are living in food-insecure households. Volunteers, legislators and farmers are trying to find ways to bridge the gap between unused food and people experiencing hunger.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

On Friday afternoon, about 200 Vermonters celebrated a state law that requires special labels for foods made with genetically modified ingredients.

Bob Kinzel / VPR

The Attorney General's office and the Vermont Human Rights Commission have launched a public education campaign to alert consumers and businesses about the existence of gender-based pricing for goods and services in the state.

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