Vermont Legislature

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Following two previous attempts, Vermont lawmakers passed a third budget on Monday and sent it to Governor Phil Scott, who had vetoed the first two plans saying they violated his pledge not to raise taxes or fees. Faced with a July 1st deadline, the governor announced Monday night that he would allow the latest version of the 2019 budget to become law without his signature.  The Republican discussed his decision Thursday during his first press conference since the move.

Governor Phil Scott discusses Vermont budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott says he's satisfied with many provisions in the new state budget, yet remains disappointed Democrats in the Legislature did not sign onto his plan to hold property tax rates at last year's level.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It appears Vermont will avoid a government shutdown. With the July 1st fiscal year deadline approaching, Governor Phil Scott has decided to allow the third version of the budget that legislators have sent him to become law, but he’s not signing the fiscal plan.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Tuesday, the Vermont House failed to obtain the two-thirds support necessary to override Governor Phil Scott’s budget veto and must now craft a third budget. If it is not completed and approved by July 1st, the state faces a government shutdown.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House on Tuesday failed to override Governor Phil Scott’s second budget veto.

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Vermont Governor Phil Scott recently signed a bill that moves the state toward establishing an individual mandate that would require all residents have health insurance.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House is expected to  vote on Tuesday whether they will override Republican Governor Phil Scott's veto of the second budget bill.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Thursday, the Vermont Senate passed the second budget bill of the year, despite a likely veto from Republican Governor Phil Scott.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has approved the second budget bill of the year, but it faces a likely veto from Republican Governor Phil Scott.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Democratically-controlled Vermont House passed a revised 2019 budget bill on Tuesday but Republican Governor Phil Scott may veto the compromise measure if the Senate also approves the measure.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

As the budget dispute continues in Vermont, a proposal has been offered that would avert a state government shutdown.  But an effort to fast-track the bill in the Vermont House failed to receive enough votes on Wednesday.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott called a special session of the state legislature to begin today. It comes after he promised to veto the budget and property tax bills presented to him, although he has yet to officially veto the fiscal plans.  On Tuesday, he nixed a number of other bills, including one that would raise the minimum wage, and a paid family leave measure.  Vermont Senate Pro-Tem Democrat/Progressive Tim Ashe says that move was an example of continued frustration the legislature has with the administration.

Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (left) and Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Both chambers of the Vermont Legislature gaveled into special session this morning — and after less than an hour each chamber adjourned until next Tuesday.  After adjournment the House and Senate leaders expressed continued frustration with the Scott Administration.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Will Vermont lawmakers return for a special session next week? At his weekly press conference this afternoon, Vermont Governor Phil Scott discussed his move to call legislators back to Montpelier May 23rd. The Republican is promising to veto the-just passed state budget and property tax bill.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Saturday night, the Vermont Legislature adjourned despite Governor Phil Scott’s promise to veto the just-passed budget and property tax bills.  Late Tuesday the governor sent a letter to the House Speaker and Senate Pro Tem notifying them that a special session would begin next Wednesday, May 23rd.  During a conversation earlier Tuesday, Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe, a Progressive/Democrat, expressed strong disagreement with the governor’s recent actions.

VT Gov. Phil Scott
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Republican Gov. Phil Scott says he plans to call lawmakers back to the Statehouse next week to prevent what he says is an unnecessary property tax increase on Vermonters.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature adjourned late Saturday despite state budget and property tax bill veto threats from the Republican governor.

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The Vermont Legislature has passed a bill that advocates say will protect consumers from what they say are unfair contract clauses but opponents fear will have dire consequences on the economy.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

There are about three weeks left in the Vermont legislative session.  Vermont Senate Pro Tem Democrat/Progressive Tim Ashe notes that one of the latest items has come up in the wake of a teenager’s arrest for planning, but not implementing, a mass shooting at the Fair Haven Union High School.  Ashe says legislators are looking at whether they should revise criminal statutes to address when someone might attempt a felony. Ashe spoke with WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley.

Following hours of debate, the Vermont House gave final approval to a package of gun ownership restrictions Tuesday night.

The Vermont Legislature did not pass gun legislation before lawmakers head home for their mid-session break as Republican Governor Phil Scott had requested, but they have made the issue a focus of their deliberations during the current session.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (left) and Senate ProTem Tim Ashe discuss Governor Phil Scott's budget address
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott presented his $5.9 million budget plan to a joint session of the Vermont Legislature Tuesday afternoon.  But statehouse leaders say the governor has merely outlined concepts without clear details or guidance.

Senator Becca Balint
Vermont Legislature

Vermont Governor Phil Scott delivered his second State of the State Thursday. The Republican is calling for continued fiscal restraint.  Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint, a Democrat, was in the chamber in Montpelier. She says there are some areas where they agree, but she questions if the governor’s fiscal austerity policy is viable over the long-term.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont lawmakers are back at the Statehouse in Montpelier for the 2018 legislative session.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont lawmakers are back in Montpelier this week to begin the 2018 legislative session.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe (left) and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson outline legislative priorities
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The leaders of the Vermont House and Senate discussed the legislative priorities for the upcoming session with reporters in Montpelier today.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
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Last week, Vermont Governor Phil Scott wrote to Congressional leaders, expressing his concerns over the Senate health care bill.  Meanwhile, state legislative leaders have left open the possibility of a special session in October to deal with any federal budget actions.  In the second part of an interview, the first-term Republican governor explains that federal funding is critical to Vermont.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It was a busy spring in Vermont politics. Governor Phil Scott vetoed the state budget on June 6th because it did not include a plan to restructure teacher contract negotiations. He said the plan would save property taxpayers statewide $26 million.  State leaders had until July 1st to reach a compromise to avoid a state shutdown. A solution was reached before the legislature’s veto session on June 21st , and the governor signed the budget three days before deadline.  It includes no new taxes or fees.  In the first of a two-part interview, first-term Republican Governor Phil Scott says he and agency commissioners and department heads began working on the budget as soon as he was elected in November.

Vermont House meets in special session 6-21-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lawmakers headed back to Montpelier Wednesday as the Vermont Legislature met for a special veto session.  After a long day of twists and turns, the House and Senate eventually approved the 2018 state budget, which includes an adjusted teacher health care deal that the governor wanted included in the fiscal plan.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Legislature adjourned on May 19th with the threat of a budget veto by the governor and a special session planned at the end of June to deal with vetoes.  Although the session ended with the focus on teacher health care contracts, the leaders of the legislature say the controversy overshadowed a number of legislative accomplishments.

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