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. Phil Scott is reconsidering his opposition to a primary enforcement seat belt law.
Angela Evancie / VPR

Throughout his political career as a state senator, lieutenant governor and now as governor, Phil Scott has always opposed legislation that would allow police to stop drivers who are not wearing a seat belt. But the governor says he's now rethinking how he feels about this issue.

When you're the economist for the Vermont legislature, sometimes you have to deliver unwelcome news to lawmakers.

Tristan Toleno, left, Annmarie Christensen and Rodney Graham serve in Vermont's House of Representatives.
Angela Evancie & Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont’s citizen legislators get paid about $12,700 for five months of work. So, if you have a career and/or a family, how do you pull it off?

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Supporters of a bill that would raise the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour hope a new summer study committee will lay the groundwork for passage in 2018.

Vermont will study how so-called 'rape kits' are processed into evidence, as part of a new law that Gov. Phil Scott signed on Tuesday, July 17, 2017.
Rick Bowmer / AP

The governor signed two bills on Tuesday that extend protections for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Some of the changes have been long in coming for the advocates who work on these issues.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Vermont has a state budget for the new fiscal year that didn't raise any new taxes or fees, but some elected officials – including Gov. Phil Scott – are already thinking ahead to the financial impact that cuts at the federal level could bring to the state.

Lisa Rathke / Associated Press

Gov. Phil Scott and lawmakers finally compromised on the state budget last week, but the outcome creates a whole new set of financial dilemmas for school districts across Vermont. And the governor's veto of pot legalization disappointed supporters who thought it had a chance. We examine both controversies in a live interview with the governor.

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Lawmakers could have overridden two vetoes when they returned to Montpelier on Wednesday. The governor's veto of a pot legalization bill stands, but legislators did strike a deal to approve the state budget. However, their compromise with Gov. Phil Scott puts school boards on the hook to find cost savings.

Gov. Phil Scott says he's troubled by President Trump's comments about the violence in Charlottesville last weekend
Bob Kinzel / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott says he didn't encourage lawmakers to support the marijuana legalization bill during this week's veto session because passage of the legislation was not a high priority for him.

A legislative panel has deferred action on a proposal that could have significant impacts on the future of ridgeline wind energy in Vermont.

Districts that have already negotiated employee health care plans, like the one that includes Stowe Middle and High School, will face some tough financial choices as a result of the budget compromise in Montpelier.
Ian Noyes / For VPR

Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott finally got a budget compromise on Wednesday, but in doing so, they’ve created a whole new set of financial dilemmas for school districts across Vermont.

Many House Republicans and some Democrats voted to block consideration of a new marijuana bill.
Ted S. Warren / AP

Backers of a new marijuana legalization bill say they’re very disappointed that many members of the House Republican caucus and a number of Democrats voted to block consideration of the legislation in Wednesday’s veto session.

Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders announced details of a compromise Wednesday that will require school districts across Vermont to cut spending by $13 million over the next two years.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

School districts across Vermont will be forced to reduce spending by $13 million over the next two years as part of a compromise in Montpelier that has cleared the political logjam holding up passage of the state budget.

A deal between Democratic lawmakers and the Scott administration has paved the way for passage of critical budget and tax bills.
Doug Kerr / Flickr

A tentative compromise between Democratic lawmakers and Republican Gov. Phil Scott over the issue of teacher health benefits appears to have resolved a weeks-long political standoff that had threatened passage of the budget and a key tax bill.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

This week, lawmakers in Montpelier will hold a special veto session to address the big issues where agreement couldn't be reached before adjournment. Vermont Edition talks to top political reporters about days of behind-the-scenes negotiations between lawmakers and the Scott administration – and what any possible deals on the budget and marijuana legalization could look like.

Vermont's two U.S. senators, Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders both strongly oppose the new GOP Senate health care plan
crazydiva / iStock

There were very few issues during the legislative session that were as partisan and divisive as the fight over teachers health care.

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

A political confrontation over the issue of teacher health benefits has become the signature issue of the 2017 legislative session, but it’s being resolved almost entirely outside of the formal legislative process. The closed-door negotiations between a handful of Democratic lawmakers and the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott have shrouded the policy making process from public view.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse with a blue sky background.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Disagreement over health care contracts for employees at public schools prompted next week's veto session, but it's not clear if the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers will be able to bridge the divide between them on this issue.

A summer study committe set to convene in Montpelier next week will set the stage for a legislative debate next year over whether to increase the minimum wage in Vermont to $15 an hour.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

Democratic lawmakers and members of the administration of Republican Gov. Phil Scott returned to the negotiating table Thursday to try to hammer out a deal over the budget and property tax bills that Scott vetoed last week.

Vermont lawmakers working on a bill to legalize marijuana say they have now presented a compromise to Gov. Phil Scott that would address many of the concerns he raised when he vetoed a legalization bill in May.
labuda / iStock

In May, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed a bill that would legalize marijuana due to several public safety concerns. Now, lawmakers think they have a compromise that would win the governor's approval. 

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