Government & Politics

A deal between Democratic lawmakers and the Scott administration has paved the way for passage of critical budget and tax bills.
Doug Kerr / Flickr

A tentative compromise between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health benefits appears to have resolved a weeks-long political standoff that had threatened passage of the budget and a key tax bill.

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

This week, lawmakers in Montpelier will hold a special veto session to address the big issues where agreement couldn't be reached before adjournment. Vermont Edition talks to top political reporters about days of behind-the-scenes negotiations between lawmakers and the Scott administration – and what any possible deals on the budget and marijuana legalization could look like.

As top environmental officials from Quebec and New York looked on, Gov. Phil Scott signed a letter committing to reduce pollution in Lake Champlain as part of an inter-state and international effort.
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Officials from Vermont, New York, Quebec and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency all committed to combine their efforts to reduce pollution in Lake Champlain on Monday in the first updated pollution management plan since 2010.

State Auditor Doug Hoffer says shortcomings in project management at the Department of Buildings and General Services have led to cost overruns on major construction projects.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

A new report from the state auditor’s office shows chronic cost overruns for major construction projects at the Vermont Department of Buildings and General Services.

Vermont's two U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders both strongly oppose the new GOP Senate health care plan
crazydiva / iStock

There were very few issues during the legislative session that were as partisan and divisive as the fight over teachers health care.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

A political confrontation over the issue of teacher health benefits has become the signature issue of the 2017 legislative session, but it’s being resolved almost entirely outside of the formal legislative process. The closed-door negotiations between a handful of Democratic lawmakers and the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott have shrouded the policy making process from public view.

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

Disagreement over health care contracts for employees at public schools prompted next week's veto session, but it's not clear if the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers will be able to bridge the divide between them on this issue.

Courtesy Bloomsbury Academic

Former House Speaker John McCormack might be the most important political leader most people don't remember - or may not have even heard of. His time as a Massachusetts congressman spanned the presidencies of Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, and he served as Speaker of the House during the turbulent years from 1962-1971.

In recent months, the number of refugees fleeing the U.S. for Canada has increased.  The majority of the illegal crossings are people traveling through rural New York State — and occasionally Vermont — into Quebec. 

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Democratic lawmakers and members of the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott returned to the negotiating table Thursday to try to hammer out a deal over the budget and property tax bills that Scott vetoed last week.

Members of Vermont's congressional delegation reacted with shock and horror to learn that a gunman targeted members of the Republican congressional baseball team on Wednesday.

In 1964, a fifteen-year-old boy named Gerald Gault was arrested after he and a friend made a lewd phone call to their neighbor. Over the next few weeks, Gault was repeatedly interrogated by police, adjudicated before a judge twice in chambers, and was subsequently committed to an Arizona juvenile detention facility until his twenty-first birthday.

Sen. Patrick Leahy is the senior member of two Senate committees that are investigating possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials
Susan Walsh / AP File

Sen. Patrick Leahy is in a unique position among Senate Democratic leaders during the current session of Congress: He has the most seniority of any member of the Senate and serves as the senior ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and the Appropriations Committee.

Despite a host of troubles over the last few years, a recently released audit of Vermont Health Connect shows the program is meeting all requirements set forth by the federal government.
screenshot from Vermont Health Connect

A recently released external audit of Vermont Health Connect says the state-run insurance exchange has met all requirements set forth by the federal government.

Inmates outside of the Camp Hill prison in Pennsylvania. 269 Vermont inmates are now housed at this facility.
Jasper Craven / VT Digger

Vermont corrections officials confirmed this week that 269 inmates Vermont houses outside the state have been moved from a private facility in Michigan to a state-run prison in Pennsylvania, called Camp Hill.

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