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; otherwise, the streams are quiet.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has issued his first veto of the 2016 session. The governor says a bill expanding the membership of the state's Clean Water Fund Board could have slowed down efforts to clean up lakes and streams across the state.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

When the new governor takes office in January, he or she will be given a new, independent analysis concerning the future of Vermont Health Connect, the state's health care web site.

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Hopes for single-payer health care in Vermont were sidelined at the end of 2014, but lawmakers haven’t given up on the concept of publicly-financed medical system. And a coming study could lay the groundwork for universal care for all Vermonters under the age of 27.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

Municipalities across Vermont have grown frustrated over the lack of local influence in the renewable energy siting process, but key lawmakers say one of the last bills to cross the legislative finish last week will give towns a greater voice.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

A recent downturn in commodity prices has some waste district managers scrambling to make ends meet just as they are getting ready to meet new demands of the state's universal recycling law.

Supporters of a proposed Ethics Commission in Vermont say they're disappointed that their plan didn't pass this session, but are already looking ahead to next year.

The discovery of a possible carcinogen in private drinking supplies in North Bennington spurred the passage of new toxics legislation in Montpelier this year.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Backers of legislation to legalize marijuana say they're disappointed that they weren't successful this session. One problem was that the House and the Senate looked at the issue very differently.

Angela Evancie / VPR

For the last six years, the same four men have occupied the most powerful stations in Statehouse politics. Their era came to an end shortly after midnight early Saturday morning, when the Vermont Legislature closed the books on the 2016 session. And the building that lawmakers left this past weekend will be a much different place in 2017.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

It looks like it could be the final day of the Vermont legislative session. But first, state lawmakers in Montpelier are settling in for what could be a very long night.

alengo / iStock

Tucked away in this year's several-hundred-page budget bill is a very small section that could have a big impact on the operations of the Vermont Lottery. It's a change that has strongly divided the House and the Senate.

The issue? Whether or not electronic lottery consoles should be allowed in bars.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In the two-person battle for the Republican nomination for governor, GOP lawmakers are closing ranks behind Lt. Gov. Phil Scott. 

Angela Evancie / VPR

Following the defeat this week of a marijuana legalization bill, House Democratic leaders are exploring the possibility of putting the issue to Vermonters in November with a non-binding referendum.

Ben Curtis / AP

Until recently, Vermont was on track to become the fifth state in the nation to ban the sale of ivory. But the legislation has suddenly derailed, and hopes for its passage are dwindling as the end of the session nears.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

Under a new law signed Wednesday, Vermonters will be informed within hours if any sewage is dumped or spilled into streams, rivers and lakes.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

An attempt to define the difference between employees and independent contractors turned into one of the most controversial bills of the 2016 legislative session. The legislation met its demise this week when a procedural maneuver, orchestrated by the leader of the House Progressive caucus, led to a decision to pull it from the House floor. But the issue isn’t going away.

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Marijuana legalization is dead for the 2016 session. The Vermont House Tuesday rejected an amendment that would have decriminalized the growing of two plants by a vote of 77 to 70. Lawmakers earlier defeated a Senate plan for commercial marijuana sales.  

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A long-awaited floor debate on the plan to legalize cannabis finally gets underway in the House today after lawmakers unexpectedly postponed discussion Monday night.

gaspr13 / iStock

The House Democratic leadership backed away from a vote on legalizing marijuana Monday night as a more modest compromise plan was being drafted for consideration.

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Doctors in Vermont will soon face new limits on the number of narcotic pain pills they can prescribe to patients.