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.

The Vermont Legislature is looking for ways to shift the educational fund burden from property taxes to income taxes. H.911 includes legislation that would spell out how that can be accomplsihed.
ParkerDeen / iStock

Ask any legislator in Montpelier and they'll probably agree that getting the state's education funding model right could be their most difficult task. Now a bill passed by the House sets about shifting some of the burden of paying for our schools from property taxes to income taxes.

The Vermont Statehouse with a cloudy sky, with people gathering in front of the building.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

Vermont lawmakers have given their unanimous approval to two additional gun control measures. Now those are headed to Gov. Phil Scott, who has previously announced support for the bills.

Two cranes lift the 14-foot statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, from the capitol dome as part of $2 million rennovation project.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The golden dome that crowns Vermont's capitol building is undergoing a $2 million renovation. We're looking at what the project will accomplish with Statehouse Curator David Schutz.

Washington County Sen. Anthony Pollina discusses the Progressive agenda in Montpelier.
AP/Toby Talbot

Progressive leaders in Montpelier began the legislative session with a plan for Vermonters to pay their school taxes based on their income, rather than the value of their property. The plan failed to gain traction in both the House and Senate. We're talking with Progressive leaders about how their agenda has been received in the Statehouse this year.

Attorney General TJ Donovan says he backs legislation that would soften criminal penalties for simple drug possession.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

As Vermont looks for new ways to combat the problem of opioid addiction, House lawmakers are considering legislation that would soften criminal penalties for possession of heroin and other drugs.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

Legislation creating paid family leave in Vermont has gotten a big boost at the Statehouse, as the head of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs says the proposal is a top priority for the panel.

However, the outlook for the bill is still uncertain because Gov. Phil Scott opposes the legislation.

Speakers lined up at the Vermont Statehouse entrance at the "March for Our Lives" on March 24.
Liam Elder-Connors / VPR

The Vermont Senate has given final approval to a sweeping set of new gun control measures, and Gov. Phil Scott says he will sign the bill, titled S. 55. We're looking at what ended up in the wide-ranging bill. Plus, we'll also look at two more bills relating to guns, H. 422 and S. 221, that the Senate is still debating.

The Roman goddess of Agriculture, Ceres, has been weathering the winter storms for over 70 years atop Vermont’s Statehouse in Montpelier. Monday, she decended (with the help of two cranes.)
Bob Kinzel / VPR

The 14-foot goddess of Agriculture was removed from the top of the Statehouse dome by crane Monday as the first step of a $2 million renovation campaign.

Justin Turco of Ira came to Montpelier to deliver a message to Gov. Phil Scott after the Legislature approved sweeping gun control legislation.
John Dillon / VPR

A day after the Legislature passed a sweeping gun control bill, supporters of gun rights held a rally on the Statehouse steps to call the legislation unenforceable and unconstitutional.

Gov. Phil Scott tells reporters that he "fully intends to sign" the gun control bill passed by the Senate
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Moments after the Senate passed the gun control bill, Gov. Phil Scott met with a group of reporters in the lobby of his office in the Pavilion Office Building.

courtesy, Herve Pelletier

It was a busy morning in Windham County, as two communities tackled the issue of guns in schools.

A 10-round, left, and 15-round magazine, center, and a semi-automatic handgun.
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Attorney General TJ Donovan says a proposed ban on high-capacity magazines would be difficult to enforce. Donovan says he thinks lawmakers should adopt the provision.

Lawmakers gathered in the Senate at the kickoff of the biennium in 2017. Now, lawmakers will return for a special session next week.
Angela Evancie / VPR File

A weeks-long debate in the Vermont Legislature over controversial gun legislation came to end on Friday when the Senate held a final vote on a bill known as S.55.

Bennington County Sen. Dick Sears says he believes the gun bills on which lawmakers generally agree will do more for public safety than the gun legislation that has been more divisive.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

S.55, a piece of firearms legislation, has quickly become the most divisive issue in Montpelier. But not all the proposed gun measures under consideration this year are proving so controversial.

Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe, left, and Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, Right with Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman and Gov. Phil Scott, center in January 2018.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR

Our veteran statehouse reporter Bob Kinzel is answering your questions about state government, history and politics.

House lawmakers gave final approval to a wide-ranging gun bill Tuesday night. The legislation heads now to the Vermont Senate, which is expected to hold a final vote before the end of the week.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

The Vermont House of Representatives has given final approval to a slate of new gun restrictions.

Toby Talbot / AP

Rutland County Republican Sen. Peg Flory has announced she will not seek reelection in November.

A bump stock next to a disassembled .22-caliber rifle, shown in 2013. While the House passed a ban on bump stocks Friday, the Senate version of S.55 did not include such a provision.
Allen Breed / AP

On Friday evening, after 10 full hours of debate, House lawmakers voted 85-59 to approve sweeping changes to Vermont’s gun laws. But the bill, called S.55, still has some hurdles to clear in Montpelier. Here’s what’s next for S.55.

The House chamber of the Vermont Legislature
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

A big week for gun control at the Statehouse culminated in a day-long debate over a bill that would raise the age at which Vermonters could purchase guns, ban bump stocks, require universal background checks and restrict magazine capacity. 

Gov. Phil Scott says he is confident Democratic leaders will drop their plan to raise the statewide property tax rate to avoid a government shutdown on July first
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says it's likely he'll veto an education financing bill that was passed by the Vermont House.

The governor’s comments potentially set up a confrontation with Democratic legislative leaders that’s similar to a situation that happened last year.

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