Government & Politics

The Swanton sector of U.S. Border Patrol covers nearly 300 miles of the U.S.-Canada border, including parts of New York and all of Vermont and New Hampshire.
Ryan Caron King / New England News Collaborative

Some civil rights advocates have raised concerns that U.S. Border Patrol may be infringing on people's civil rights as it carries out stops in its vast jurisdiction.

Rep. Peter Welch backs efforts to outlaw devices that increase the capabilities of semi-automatic weapons
Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Rep. Peter Welch is backing legislation to prohibit the sale of devices that turn semi-automatic rifles into weapons that allow shooters to fire hundreds of rounds per minute.

A legislative panel is laying the ground work for a debate over the minimum wage next year. But even traditionally progressive business groups say their members have concerns about raising the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

A group of lawmakers has begun laying the political ground work for an increase in Vermont’s minimum wage. But legislators are struggling to find support in the business community for a plan that would take it all the way to $15 an hour.

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation support a bipartisan approach to strengthen the Affordable Care Act
Toby Talbot / Associated Press/File

All three members of Vermont's Congressional delegation say they'll oppose President Trump's tax plan because it favors the richest Americans.

According to a new report, 63 percent of those hosts are women; the average age of Airbnb host is 50 and 29 percent of the Airbnb hosts are over the age of 60.
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.

Members of the Marijuana Advisory Commission met for the first time Thursday in Waterbury. Administration officials say it's now a matter of how, not if, Vermont legalizes marijuana.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Top officials in the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott say marijuana legalization is now inevitable in Vermont, and that they’ve been instructed to craft the framework for what will one day become an above-board cannabis market in the state.

President Chester A. Arthur - in cutout form - presides over the town office in Fairfield, Vermont back on Aug. 14, 2009. We're talking about Arthur's life and his unexpected presidency.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Former president Chester A. Arthur often gets short shrift — even here in the state of his birth, where he's frequently referred to as "Vermont's other president." Today we're giving Arthur some attention.

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.

Some sparse shelves are visible at the Montpelier Food Pantry on Tuesday. They saw a spike in demand over the summer months, according to executive director Jaime Bedard.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Officials at organizations providing food assistance to Vermonters say a sluggish state economy might be one of the reasons why demand at many local food shelves has risen in the past few months.

The co-founders of the Phytoscience Institute, Willy Cats-Baril, Dr. Kalev Freeman, Monique McHenry, Tom Grace and Robin Grace, from left, say they started the firm to improve medical cannabis research. The institute won a license to open a dispensary.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

The Phytoscience Institute in Waterbury won a license last week to become the state's fifth medical marijuana dispensary.  Competition for the new dispensary license was fierce, with five applicants vying for the coveted registration certificate. But the CEO of the winning cannabis research firm says he doesn't expect to profit from the dispensaries themselves.

Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille says Vermont would lose more than $200 million a year under the new Republican health care bill.
VPR / Bob Kinzel

Most estimates conclude that Vermont would be one of the hardest hit states on a per capita basis by the proposed Graham-Cassidy health care bill.

Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about foreign policy at Westminster College in Fulton, Mo., on Thursday.
screenshot from Westminster College's live stream

Sen. Bernie Sanders says the United States needs to adopt a progressive approach to foreign policy if many of the crises facing the world are to be resolved in the future.

Burlington Rep. Kurt Wright, left, and Caledonia County Sen. Joe Benning held a press conference at Burlington City Hall Monday. They say they'll push for legislation next year that would ban teacher strikes.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The Burlington teacher strike is over, but it’s reignited a political debate that will run well into the next legislative session.

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.

Turnpike Road in Norwich was damaged during flash flooding this past summer. VPR's Howard Weiss-Tisman spoke to "Vermont Edition" about his recent stories looking at flood insurance.
Rebecca Sananes / VPR

Flooding is a serious business, and VPR's Howard Weiss-Tisman has been looking at the vital topic of flood insurance — which may not even continue to exist in its current form, with change occurring both in the climate and in Washington. He joins this Vermont Edition to talk about his reporting.

In nineteen eighty nine, after living in Washington State, Ohio, Virginia, and Connecticut, I moved to New Hampshire to attend college.

Former Gov. Peter Shumlin says he underestimated the political and policy challenges of implementing a single payer health care system in Vermont.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Former Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin told the Harvard School of Public Health on Tuesday that he miscalculated the political and policy challenges associated with the single payer approach.

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