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.

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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.

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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.

Brennan Linsley / AP

House Speaker Shap Smith says the House will debate a bill legalizing marijuana Monday.

Angela Evancie / VPR

The 2016 legislation session is in its final days with a number of key issues yet to be decided. Issues like the legalization marijuana, the creation of an ethics commission, and an energy siting bill.

We’re talking with House Speaker Shap Smith about his top priorities for the rest of the session.

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Gov. Peter Shumlin wants House Speaker Shap Smith to bring a bill legalizing marijuana to the House floor for a vote, but Smith says he's not going to do this at this time because there's not nearly enough support in the House to pass the legislation.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

If you ask Donald Trump, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is over. After a sweep of five states in the most recent primary contests Tuesday, Trump proclaimed himself the presumptive GOP nominee, even if his rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich and their supporters would disagree.

Steven Senne / AP

With the House and Senate deadlocked on a bill legalizing marijuana, a possible compromise is to present this issue to voters in a nonbinding referendum in November.

While Vermont's political system calls on voters to approve proposed Constitutional amendments using a statewide referendum, the process doesn't allow for the consideration of other issues using this approach.

Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

The House has advanced legislation that's designed to give towns a greater role in determining where renewable energy projects are sited.

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The Vermont House has advanced legislation that's designed to make dental care more accessible to low-income people throughout the state. The legislation creates a new category of professional within the state's dentistry system.

A downtown Newport development project is in doubt following fraud allegations against the project developers. State and local officials met this week to talk more about the project's future but few answers were found.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont Senate has rejected a proposed Constitutional amendment that would have created "a right to privacy."

Backers said the proposal was needed to keep up with the enormous technological changes taking place in society. But opponents argued the measure could overturn a number of state laws.

Rebecca Sananes / VPR

The fate of a proposed redevelopment project in downtown Newport – halted since March – is now even less clear following allegations of fraud against two Northeast Kingdom developers, Bill Stenger and Ariel Quiros.  

Toby Talbot / AP

As Vermont embraces the idea of renewable energy like wind and solar, the inevitable impact on the local landscape and community is inescapable. The question then becomes, how can towns weigh in on where these projects go?

VPR file

The House has given its final approval to legislation that allows law enforcement officials to use a saliva test to determine if a driver is impaired with a combination of alcohol and marijuana.

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The Vermont Senate has given its unanimous support to legislation that's designed to improve employment opportunities for people who have a criminal record in their past. Backers of the bill say it's needed because many people who've been convicted of a crime never get past the application process if they have to initially disclose this information to an employer.

The state's new revenue report shows that the dismal season for the ski industry hasn't yet had a major impact on Vermont's tax base.

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Law enforcement officials are urging lawmakers to establish a roadside system to determine if a driver is operating a car under the influence of drugs. The system uses a saliva test that can measure levels of marijuana and seven other commonly used drugs. But the potential testing raises civil liberties concerns.

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The House Judiciary Committee scaled back a marijuana bill even further Friday in order to squeak it through the committee and keep the bill alive, setting the stage for a possible showdown with the Senate over legalization.

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