Government & Politics

The Vermont Legislature

Follow VPR's statehouse team, Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in at our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier on Twitter. Explore our full coverage of the Vermont Legislature.

Follow #vtpoli for the latest news from newsmakers, reporters and Vermonters across the state.

Listen In On The Statehouse

VPR provides live streaming feed of the House and Senate proceedings, without editing or commentary. The streams are active when there's a meeting in the House or Senate and the chamber microphones are turned on; otherwise, the streams are quiet.

Click to listen to the Vermont House | Vermont Senate | Full Audio Player | More Options

Explore Major Vermont Political Issues

Act 46 | Water Quality | Guns | Marijuana | Immigration

Check Out Ask Bob

VPR reporter and Vermont Edition host Bob Kinzel has been covering the Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. To take advantage of his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series — Ask Bob. Check out past questions and submit your own here.

Catch Up With Vermont's Congressional Delegation

Sen. Patrick Leahy | Sen. Bernie Sanders | Rep. Peter Welch | Congress

Campaign 2018

Follow VPR's coverage of the 2018 political season with candidate interviews, bios, debates and more. Click here for our full coverage.

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Ron Chernow’s biography on Ulysses S. Grant is long – and for good reason. The big moments in Grant’s life span nearly 20 years, from the start of the Civil War in 1861 to the end of his presidency in 1879.

John Dillon / VPR

A longtime Vermont resident is scheduled to be deported Sunday back to his native Kenya. His family says they are the victims of President Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration issues.

The Vermont flag.
btgbtg / iStock.com

Early voting for the Aug. 14 Vermont primary election is underway.

Voters now have just over six weeks to cast a ballot in the major party contests for statewide and legislative races.

Marijuana is the term for the Cannabis plant primarily used in North America. Outside the region, most use the term Cannabis.
aga7ta / iStock

When it comes to cannabis, there are a ton of terms that get thrown around in laws, in conversation and on products or advertisements.

The Vermont Statehouse.
DenisTangneyJr. / iStock

With a state government shutdown narrowly avoided, Vermont Edition wraps up this week by talking with political reporters about the details of the budget agreement, what it means for future education and funding policies in our state, and how the Montpelier showdown could affect the 2018 campaign.

The specifics of Act 86 aren't clear to all. We answer your questions.
LPETTET / istock

On July 1, Vermont's Act 86 makes it legal for adults 21+ to possess an ounce of marijuana and cultivate a small number of marijuana plants under state law.

Guard member on ground with a gun.
Spc. Avery Cunningham / U.S. Army National Guard

Starting July 1, it will be legal in Vermont for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. But Vermont National Guard soldiers might want to think twice before taking advantage of the new law.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner gives a thumbs up outside the Supreme Court, Wednesday, in Washington. The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that government workers can't be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.
Andrew Harnik / AP

Public-sector unions in Vermont are denouncing Wednesday's Supreme Court decision that says nonunion members cannot be asked to help pay for collective bargaining.

Republican Rep. Kurt Wright of Burlington talks about the role House Republican leaders played in the state's budgetary impasse and what the agreement means for the future of education funding.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Vermont's weekslong budget impasses is at an end after Gov. Phil Scott said he'd allow the latest budget passed by lawmakers to go into effect without his signature, avoiding a state government shutdown. But while the impasse has been framed as Democratic lawmakers clashing with a Republican governor, leaders of the House Republican minority also played decisive roles in the process.

A day after scoring dramatic victories in Maryland and New York primaries, progressives have notched another major win in the Democratic Party.

A Democratic National Committee panel has voted to drastically curtail the role 'superdelegates' play in the party's presidential nominating process. The DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee voted 27 to 1 to block officeholders, DNC members, and other party dignitaries from casting decisive votes on the first ballot of presidential nominating conventions.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch stands looking at Justice Anthony Kennedy in April 2017.
Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Vermont’s congressional delegation reacted with concern today over the announcement by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy that he will retire at the end of July.

Jasdeep Pannu is running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate.
courtesy of Jasdeep Pannu

Essex attorney Jasdeep Pannu is one of four candidates running for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate.

Tedra Cobb, a former St. Lawrence County legislator in northern New York topped a field of five candidates in the Democratic primary for New York's 21st congressional district Tuesday night.

Updated at 5:54 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement Wednesday, setting the stage for what promises to be an epic political battle over his replacement.

A Trump nominee is likely to be far more conservative than Kennedy, who, though appointed by President Ronald Reagan, voted with the court's liberals in some key cases.

Dan Freilich is running for the Democratic nomination for Vermont's seat in the U.S. House.
courtesy of Dan Freilich

Dan Freilich is a medical doctor and Navy captain who is challenging Peter Welch for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. House. He's making healthcare and campaign finance reform his key priorities. We're talking to him about his platform and his run.

Updated at 12:35 a.m. ET

National progressives scored a major coup over the Democratic establishment Tuesday night as 28-year-old activist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez upset House Democratic Caucus chairman and longtime New York Rep. Joe Crowley.

Ira Schwartz / AP

Recently, as my eight year old son was walking through the family room, I heard him chanting something unusual: “Build a Wall! Build a Wall!”

The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect, kills over 99 percent of ash trees. It's been found in Montpelier, and officials are planning a response.
U.S. Department of Agriculture

The invasive emerald ash borer has been found in Montpelier. City officials are taking steps to protect some trees along city streets, but ultimately they say most of Montpelier’s ash trees will die.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., on Capitol Hill in April 2017.
Alex Brandon / AP

Vermont's Congressional delegation is condemning a U.S. Supreme Court decision that upholds the Trump Administration’s ban on travel from five predominantly Muslim countries.

So far, more than 250 schools have applied for state grant money to improve their security infrastructure.
Kameleon007 / iStock

The dispute between Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders over property tax rates went on for weeks, and while the governor announced Monday he'll let the latest state budget pass without his signature, there are some who believe the fight was about much more than money and tax rates.

They think it's about who will control future education policies: local school boards or the state?

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