Vermont Legislature

Follow VPR's statehouse team, Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in at our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier on Twitter.

Listen In On The Statehouse

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.

Click to listen to the Vermont House | Vermont Senate | Full Audio Player | More Options

Interested in Vermont political issues? 

Follow #vtpoli for the latest news from newsmakers, reporters and Vermonters across the state.

Have a story idea or news tip?

Send us an email.

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.

About 150 students from Montpelier High School walked out of class Wednesday afternoon to stage a rally on the steps of the Statehouse. Students across Vermont are calling on lawmakers to pass new gun legislation.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

The school shooting in Parkland, Florida has given rise to a new wave of young activists. On Wednesday afternoon, House and Senate lawmakers heard from some of the Vermont students who are demanding action from Montpelier on gun control legislation.

Sen. Dick Sears, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, backs bill to expand domestic terrorism law to deal with cases like the alleged incident at Fair Haven Union High School
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Times Argus

During the course of the week, the House is scheduled to review a Senate bill that raises the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In his second year in office, Gov. Phil Scott has called for limited spending and shared his change of heart on gun control laws. We're talking with the Governor about the surprises and changing priorities in Montpelier in 2018, and what he wants to accomplish in the rest of the legislative session.

Attorney General TJ Donovan announced a $28 million settlement with tobacco companies Thursday. Gov. Phil Scott and legislative leaders say they'll use $14 million to combat the state's opioid problem. They have yet to decide how to spend the remainder.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A legal settlement with tobacco companies has resulted in a financial windfall for the state of Vermont.

Ed Wilson, in yellow, was one of nearly 200 gun rights advocates in the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday evening. Wilson and others say proposed gun legislation in Montpelier would infringe on gun owners' rights.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In their first show of political force in Montpelier since lawmakers began taking up new firearms legislation, about 200 gun rights advocates jammed the Statehouse cafeteria Tuesday evening to show their opposition to the bills.

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

The Republican governor says the school budgets approved at town meetings last week are too high, and he wants the Legislature to intervene, by requiring districts to reduce spending. But a group of lawmakers say they have a better plan.

Jace Laquerre, a 19-year-old freshman at the University of Vermont, told the audience at Ira Allen Chapel Thursday that, despite all the calls for gun control after Parkland, not all young people are in favor of new restrictions on gun ownership.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The public debate over gun laws arrived Thursday evening on the campus of the University of Vermont, where both supporters and opponents of new gun legislation made their views known.

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

Town Meeting Day was kind to local schools this year, as all but five districts have won approval for their budgets. But while a majority of Vermonters may be okay with their local spending plans, the administration of Gov. Phil Scott is not.

Gov. Phil Scott says an anti-racism bill passed by the Legislature contains an unconstitutional provision. But though he vetoed the bill, he says he'll move forward voluntarily with an almost identical initiative.
Angela Evancie / VPR/file

The legislature is nearing its Town Meeting Day break. At this halfway mark, we're talking to top political reporters on the status of key bills, including gun control, education financing, paid family leave, raising the minimum wage and water quality efforts.

The dome of the Vermont Statehouse on a cloudy day with the Vermont flag flying.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In a move that seemed almost unthinkable at the outset of the 2018 legislative session, elected officials in Montpelier appear to be on track to make universal background checks the law before the end of the year.

Bennington County Sen. Dick Sears, seen here on the Senate floor in a 2016 file photo.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

As lawmakers nationwide consider new ways to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people, the Vermont Senate has advanced a bill that would make it easier for police to seize firearms from people who pose an "extreme risk" to themselves or others.

Jared Cadwell, the Fayston selectboard chairman, holds papers at a desk and looks over the town's Town Meeting Day warning in the town's municpal building.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

If you take a quick scan at this year's Town Meeting Day warnings, you won't find too many ambitious projects that require long-term borrowing. Vermont town officials say ongoing debates in Washington and Montpelier are making it hard to plan too far into the future.

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

There are three ways at the moment that Vermont House members can vote on a bill or an amendment to a bill. But there's also talk of introducing an electronic voting system that could shake things up in Montpelier.

In foreground, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, and Bennington County Sen. Dick Sears, right , talk after a meeting on gun legislation Tuesday.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Vermont’s top elected officials have vowed to move ahead with new restrictions on gun ownership, but a debate between the House and Senate this week shows that finding consensus on firearms legislation will be easier said than done.

Pages