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.

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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.

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Explore Major Vermont Political Issues

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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

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House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

Gov. Phil Scott said Monday night that while he doesn’t support lawmakers’ latest state budget proposal, the prospect of a government shutdown has left him “with no choice but to allow this bill to become law without my signature.”

Gov. Phil Scott
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Update 6/26/2018 6:17 a.m.

The Vermont Legislature Monday afternoon gave final approval to its third state budget of the 2018 legislative session. On Monday night, Gov. Phil Scott released a written statement: "I’m left with no choice but to allow this bill to become law without my signature."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Judiciary committee, is expressing strong concerns about President Trump's new Supreme Court nominee, appeals court judge Brett Kavanaugh
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

On the practice of separating children from parents for people crossing the southern border illegally, Sen. Patrick Leahy has said, "We need to ensure that the 2,500 children already separated are promptly reunited with their families. We must be clear that mass incarceration of families is not the answer — alternatives exist that have proven to be effective, less costly and more humane." Sen. Leahy joins Vermont Edition to discuss his ideas on the topic.

Special counsel Robert Mueller leaving the capitol in June 2017.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

More than a year into the Donald Trump presidency, special counsel Robert Mueller is conducting multiple ongoing investigations.

These include probes into whether Trump and his campaign accepted help from Russia to win the 2016 election, and whether the president himself obstructed justice after he did.

A very old sewer system is still in use at about 800 wastewater treatment plants in the U.S., including along the Connecticut River. It’s called “combined sewer overflow,” or CSO. What overflows into waterways is a mix of storm water, street runoff and raw sewage.  

After the violence along the border with Gaza, where an estimated 120 Palestinians protesting the relocation of the American Embassy to Jerusalem were killed and more than 3,800 wounded by Israeli army fire, the UN issued a strong rebuke to Israel.

With six days left until the fiscal year expires, Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers are still at odds over how much money the state should use to lower property tax rates next year.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

After coming tantalizingly close to a budget deal Friday, elected officials return to Montpelier today to resume their efforts to get a spending plan in place before the fiscal year expires at the end of the week.

The House chamber of the Vermont Legislature
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

Lawmakers will be back at the Statehouse on Monday to try and find a budget settlement with Gov. Phil Scott. But that job got a lot harder after a bizarre set of events unfolded late Friday night in the House.

A protester outside the White House in Washington, D.C., Thursday. Members of the Vermont House voted Friday to oppose a decision by the Trump Administration to separate children from undocumented parents at the border.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The Vermont House has given its tri-partisan approval to a resolution that strongly opposes a decision by the Trump Administration to separate undocumented parents from their children along the Mexican border.

The group of soon-to-be new citizens Friday.
Ari Snider / VPR

Fifteen people became American citizens on Thursday afternoon during a naturalization ceremony at the Ethan Allen Homestead in Burlington.

It all depends on how you look at it. That’s what a friend was saying about how the telling of history shapes the way we see things.

A Harvard brain scientist who studies trauma in children is warning of lasting damage to the young migrants who've been separated from their parents at the border.

A brown cardboard box on a doormat in front of a wooden door.
Manuel-F-O / iStock

Vermont Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom is hailing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing states to collect taxes for online purchases made by residents.  

A photograph of the first page of a Vermont State Police training bulletin.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont's new marijuana law — allowing possession of a limited amount of the drug — goes into effect on July 1. The Vermont State Police has issued a training bulletin on how they plan to handle the new legislation, including some changes in how state troopers will deal with drivers.

Looking up at the golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

The Vermont Senate has given its unanimous approval to a new state budget for next year.

Senate leaders say the plan is a fair compromise that's designed to ensure that there isn't a government shutdown at the beginning of July.

More than a dozen women from around Vermont met in Morristown on Tuesday at a barn that has been converted to a retreat space. They were there to learn about starting and running a cannabis-related business in Vermont.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

They’ve been called Mary Janes, Puffragettes and the Women of Weed. Whatever you choose, women are making their mark on the rapidly growing cannabis industry — and Vermont women are no exception.

President John F. Kennedy and Prime Minister John Diefenbaker detested each other and made little effort to conceal it. Like today, trade was the contentious issue.

Bottles of maple syrup are lined up on a table, their nutrion facts visible, while Rep. Peter Welch and Sen. Patrick Leahy stand in the background.
Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering a proposal requiring maple syrup and honey to carry labels saying they contain "added sugar."

Brenda Siegel is running for the Democratic nomination for governor.
courtesy of Brenda Siegel

Brenda Siegel of Newfane is one of the four candidates who will be on the ballot for the Democratic nomination for governor. She describes herself as a low-income single mother, and says the perspective of people like her is lacking in government right now. We're talking to her about her platform and why she’s running.

Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook profile, with a photo of him and a baby, and an option to send a message.
Facebook Screenshot

The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont released a letter Wednesday challenging Gov. Phil Scott's social media policy.

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