Vermont Legislature

VPR covers the Vermont Legislature with live streams from the Statehouse chambers and news coverage from our capital bureau.

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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; the streams are quiet otherwise.

More than 100 lawmakers came to the Statehouse on Wednesday to get a detailed briefing about the state's budget situation. Because a number of tax sources are not meeting projections, including the personal income tax, the state is now facing a $100 million gap in the next fiscal year.

On October 1, Vermont’s new cell phone law goes into effect. This will prohibit the use of hand-held electronic devices while operating a motor vehicle. While some people have wondered if they’d need to trade in their vehicle for one that is compliant with the new law, there are other options.

Former legislator Marion Milne died Monday at her home in Washington, Vt.  She was 79.

Marion Milne served six years in the House of Representatives and is best known for the vote that ended her political career.

A Vermont Supreme Court ruling in December of 1999 set in motion the deliberations and often acrimonious public debate over civil unions for same-sex couples.

As the Republican Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee former Shelburne Representative Tom Little was a chief architect of the Civil Unions legislation. 

During the cold war, American intelligence experts would often try to divine what was going on in the Soviet Union by looking at photographs of Kremlin public events. If Ivan Somebody was in the picture two places from the Russian leader in March and again in May, but was gone in a similar photograph in July, that meant something. Most likely that Ivan was toast.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Not sure what the deal is with the upcoming Vermont elections? 

A special legislative committee met in Montpelier Wednesday to hear from a number of key players on child safety issues.

State police officials, local police chiefs and prosecutors were all represented at today’s hearings, which were spurred by two toddler deaths earlier this year that resulted from abuse. Dave Yacovone is the Commissioner of the Department for Children and Families. He says that despite recent problems, today’s hearings show the state’s commitment to child safety.

Two state representatives have launched a new political action committee that will try to play a decisive role in local House and Senate races this fall.

Stowe Republican Heidi Scheuermann and Middlebury Democrat Paul Ralston say their group, called Vision to Action Vermont, will lend financial support to the campaigns of candidates who vow to push for economic development initiatives in Montpelier.

As Vermont heads down the path toward a single-payer health care system, lawmakers want to make sure the options are affordable for taxpayers and consumers. And the economic analysis about to be launched by the Legislature may duplicate similar work being performed for the Shumlin Administration.

Ask any working parent: Child care can be expensive. While some low-income families qualify for subsidies, many middle-class families pay full tuition.

Between 2003 and 2012, rates have risen, on average, about 43 percent, from $140 to $200 per week. That’s one reason many public schools have started free half-day preschool programs, like the one at Lyndon Town School.

Charma Whitchurch, who has a master's degree in early childhood education, is the lead teacher.

Research shows that the young brain is developing at a faster rate than we previously thought, and that there are good and bad strategies to help children acquire language and the love of learning.

So Vermont’s child care providers are learning the best way to introduce books into a child’s daily routine.

One of those early literacy training sessions takes place at the Springfield Area Parent and Child Center. The teacher is Laura Lawson Tucker, an outreach specialist for the Vermont Humanities Council.