Government & Politics

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

As the Senate Finance committee considers a proposal to include professional services under the sales tax, Gov. Peter Shumlin says he'll strongly oppose the effort.

The lawmakers' plan would also reduce the sales tax rate.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Two Vermont senators are trying to resurrect a plan to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for health care providers. And they’d use tax increases on cigarettes and health insurance claims, as well as heightened penalties on employers that don’t provide health benefits, to pay for the plan.

Beck: Before Vaccines

Apr 24, 2015

Few of us remember how dangerous diseases like measles and polio were before vaccination, but a story told by Everett Palmer of Waitsfield and archived by the Vermont Folklife Center brings this home vividly.

John Dillon / VPR

Governor Peter Shumlin has proposed a $190 million package of federal and state funds to address the Medicaid cost-shift, but the idea hasn't gained enough traction with lawmakers at the Statehouse so far this session. We look at that issue in a live interview with Shumlin. We also look at the work to release two critical upgrades to the state health care exchange in the next six months, and  plan to cleanup Lake Champlain.

Angela Evancie / VPR

It’s battered and beaten, but the House’s health care reform bill is still alive. Many Democratic lawmakers, however, don’t think the legislation goes nearly far enough. And legislators still haven’t figured out how to raise the money needed to support the few initiatives that remain.

It wasn’t so long ago that lawmakers were contemplating a $190 million health care reform proposal. The plan, put forth by Gov. Peter Shumlin, was designed to rectify longstanding structural deficiencies in Medicaid funding, deficiencies the governor blames in part for the rising costs of private health insurance.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Five of New England's governors met in Connecticut on Thursday to talk about energy issues facing the region. At the top of the agenda was the high price of electricity.

John Locher / AP

Sen. Bernie Sanders is strongly opposing President Obama's new international trade proposal. As Sanders considers a run for president, he says the trade deal should be a key issue in the Democratic 2016 presidential primary campaign.

Sanders has not formally announced his candidacy, but if he does run, it's clear that economic issues will be at the center of his campaign.

Angela Evancie / VPR/file

House lawmakers late Wednesday afternoon gave preliminary approval to a bill that would require Vermont businesses to provide paid sick days to most workers. The Democrats responsible for its passage call it a labor rights victory. But Republicans say it’s the latest anti-business measure from Montpelier.

Republicans weren’t the only ones opposed to the paid sick days bill. And the narrow 76 to 66 margin of victory included "no" votes from more than a handful of Democrats.