Politics & Government

House Minority Leader Don Turner said he expects his Republican caucus to sustain the budget veto issued by Gov. Phil Scott last week. Democratic lawmakers are already planning to begin work on a new budget proposal, if the veto override vote fails.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Democratic lawmakers Tuesday will attempt to override Gov. Phil Scott’s latest budget veto, but House Minority Leader Don Turner said he’s “pretty confident” his caucus has the numbers needed to sustain the veto.

Fred Tuttle, left, and Jack McMullen squared off in a now-notorious debate during the 1998 Republican primary.
VPR file/Tim Johnson, VPR

Live call-in discussion: Twenty years ago a political debate on VPR pitted a retired dairy farmer against a Harvard-educated Vermont newcomer in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. We're looking at back on the Tuttle-McMullen debate, how it affected the 1998 election and what the debate says about Vermont politics and values.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen is continuing to defend the Trump administration's controversial "zero tolerance" policy that results in separating children from their parents who enter the U.S. illegally.

Nielsen appeared at the White House press briefing on Monday, falsely blaming Democrats for the current crisis and arguing that the impetus is on Congress to pass a law to close legal loopholes.

courtesy of Kate Hamilton, Office of Rep. Peter Welch

Rep. Peter Welch says children are being held in metal-fenced cages while many of their families seek asylum in the United States.

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

The Trump administration's decision to separate children from their families as a way to curb illegal immigration is adding fuel to an already fiery debate over immigration.

A group of House Democrats converged on an immigration detention facility in New Jersey on Sunday, days before a planned vote by House Republicans next week. Meanwhile, Trump administration officials alternately took credit and sought to distance the administration from the family separation policy.

Eric Howe, director of the Lake Champlain Basin Program, says the lake will take time to recover from years phosphorus pollution even as it faces new threats such as climate change.
John Dillon / VPR

A new report on the health of Lake Champlain says polluted areas are not generally getting worse, but the lake isn't showing many signs of recovery from decades of phosphorous runoff either.

Updated at 12:31 p.m. ET

A federal judge ordered Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to jail on Friday following allegations by prosecutors that he tampered with witnesses in his case.

"You've abused the trust placed in you six months ago," said Judge Amy Berman Jackson. "I thought about this long and hard, Mr. Manafort. I have no appetite for this."

But Berman Jackson said she could not turn a blind eye to the charges that Manafort had attempted to contact witnesses in his case after he was on bail.

Sens. Jane Kitchel, Tim Ashe and Ann Cummings, from left, called on Gov. Phil Scott Thursday to develop a contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott Thursday night vetoed the state budget passed by lawmakers last week. And with Scott and the Legislature still at odds over one key policy issue, elected officials are calling on the administration to develop a contingency plan in the event of a government shutdown.

Angela Evancie / VPR

“Where are all the aging hippies that moved to Vermont during the '60s and '70s, and what are they doing now?”

Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin, Tax Commissioner Kaj Samsom and acting Education Secretary Heather Bouchey pitched Gov. Scott's education plan in May. Today, we're talking about the continuing budget standoff in Montpelier.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The disagreement between Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders over using one-time surplus money to stabilize property tax rates is now in its fourth week. And Gov. Scott has vetoed the latest budget from lawmakers. We're hearing from administration officials on their take on the standoff.

Orleans County Sen. John Rodgers was an outspoken critic of Gov. Phil Scott's support for new gun laws in Vermont. Now, Rodgers is waging a write-in campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Courtesy, Times Argus

His name won’t be on the ballot for the primary, but Essex-Orleans District Sen. John Rodgers says he is a Democratic candidate for governor, thanks to what he calls a “grassroots” write-in candidacy being waged on his behalf.

At his campaign launch in Barre in May, Democrat James Ehlers touted his policy agenda as the most progressive of the candidates seeking the governor's seat in 2018.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

James Ehlers is one of four Democrats running for governor. We're talking with the candidate about his platform and his priorities as we head toward the state's Aug. 14 primary. 

In a memo to lawmakers and the Scott administration, State Treasurer Beth Pearce, right, warned of dire consequences if they don't soon resolve their budget impasse.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

State Treasurer Beth Pearce says Vermont will begin to experience serious fiscal setbacks if Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers don’t resolve their budget impasse soon.

Members of the Vermont Poor People's Campaign block traffic in downtown Montpelier on Monday, June 4. The group says it's using non-violent protest to call attention to poverty, systemic racism and ecological destruction.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Inspired by the organizing tactics of Martin Luther King Jr., a coalition of Vermont activists is using 40 days of nonviolent protest in Montpelier to launch the “fusion movement” they say is needed to alleviate poverty.

It was a big night for supporters of ranked-choice voting. 

A Trump administration effort to shift family planning funding away from organizations that offer comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortion, could cripple federal efforts to stop a dramatic increase in sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S., some public health officials fear.

"This is the perfect storm, and it comes at absolutely the worst time," says Daniel Daltry, program chief of the HIV/AIDS, STD and Viral Hepatitis Program at the Vermont Department of Health.

Gov. Phil Scott discusses the Administration's property tax plan with Budget and Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin at the Statehouse on Tuesday afternoon
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says he'll veto the newly passed state budget unless lawmakers agree not to increase the state's non-residential property tax rate.

Scott says he's giving legislative leaders until Thursday to find a solution that meets his requirements. But House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says she's not giving in to Scott's demands.

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