Government & Politics

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

On a cloudless day in late September, 10 lawmakers drove to Springfield for a tour of the Southern State Correctional Facility. The experience left an impression, and legislators have begun pressing administration officials for reforms to the corrections system.

I must have been crazy to invite a bunch of political junkies to form a biweekly discussion group in such partisan times. But, four years ago, I invited some male friends – mostly academic types – to get-togethers in which each participant would lead a session on a current topic in the news. And, I added that I hoped we could all learn something new at these sessions.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The 2016 statewide campaign is off to an early start, and already, Secretary of State Jim Condos has had to field some tough questions about the definition of residency for potential candidates and the constitutionality of Vermont's public financing system.

After 9/11 it was said that the worst of times brought out the best in people, but, sadly, sometimes they trigger our lowest instincts.

It’s been a big week in Vermont politics: House Speaker Shap Smith dropped out of the governor’s race, the issue of resettling Syrian refugees in Vermont emerged as an issue in the governor’s race and Sen. Bernie Sanders delivered a speech outlining what it means to be a Democratic socialist.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has evoked the policies of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal as the framework for his brand of Democratic socialism.

In a speech Thursday, Sanders addressed what it means to be a Democratic socialist in 2015.

The resettlement of Syrian refugees has emerged as a campaign issue in the Vermont gubernatorial race, with Democratic candidates supporting Gov. Shumlin’s call for the state to welcome refugees from Syria and Republican candidates calling for a "time-out."

In an indication of the intensity of the issue, Lt. Gov. Phil Scott has issued a statement objecting to what he says are reports that he wants a halt to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Vermont. 

Vermont Health Connect screen shot

The first independent, external audit of Vermont Health Connect has arrived, and Virginia-based auditing firm says the state is out of compliance with federal regulations for state health insurance exchanges.

The death of Lara Sobel, a social worker for the Department for Children and Families who was fatally shot outside a state office building in Barre in August, was deeply unsettling. And it raised serious concerns about safety for Vermont social workers.