Vermont Legislature

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
Pat Bradley/WAMC

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.

Governor Phil Scott announces marijuana bill veto
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Governor Phil Scott today vetoed Vermont’s first-in-the-nation legislatively approved marijuana legalization bill.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was in Montpelier today as the governor explained why he is sending the legislation back.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature adjourned last Friday despite budget veto threats from the Republican governor over the failure to reach a deal on a new teacher health insurance negotiation plan.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont lawmakers returned to the statehouse Wednesday to try to wrap up the session. Among the issues they were expected to review is the governor’s last-minute proposal to change how teachers' health insurance plans should be negotiated.

Despite a flurry of activity and work remaining on a number of bills, the Vermont Legislature is targeting adjournment by the end of this week.

Alexander Torrenegra/Wikimedia Commons

Popular ride sharing companies Uber and Lyft are opposing a Vermont bill that would require the companies to greatly increase their insurance coverage for personal injuries when drivers are between rides.

Governor Phil Scott talks about his first 100 days
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Now that he has been in office for 100 days, Vermont Governor Phil Scott held a press conference this morning to outline what he sees as his successes so far.

Vermont House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski
Verrmont Legislature

The Vermont House Appropriations Committee unanimously voted 11-0 Monday to send the proposed state budget to the House floor.  In advance of the debate House leaders are previewing the budget highlights.  House Majority Leader Democrat Jill Krowinski talks about what’s anticipated during the debate over the $5.8 billion fiscal plan.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature has reached the midpoint of its current session.  The governor’s weekly press conference at the Statehouse on Thursday included a look at what progress has occurred since the session began in January.

Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott discussed a number of issues while meeting with reporters at his ceremonial office in the Statehouse Wednesday.

Vermont Conservation Voters Common Agenda 2017 cover page
Vermont Conservation Voters

Vermont Conservation Voters is an organization that works to elect environmentally minded individuals and advocates for environmental policy.  It works each year with a coalition of 10 groups to create a Common Agenda of environmental priorities to present to lawmakers each session. The 2017 agenda, which focuses on toxic chemicals and renewable energy policy, was released this week at the Statehouse.  Vermont Conservation Voters Political Director Lauren Hierl says as the agenda is crafted, pressing issues become clear.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature has approved a resolution that affirms abortion rights.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Key Vermont lawmakers are asking Republican Governor Phil Scott for an alternative budget proposal as it becomes increasingly clear that his won't pass in either the House or the Senate.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont lawmakers sustained Governor Peter Shumlin's veto of a bill that some believed would have slowed renewable energy development in Vermont, but then replaced it with one that's more to the Democratic governor's liking.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont lawmakers are preparing to return to Montpelier on Thursday for a one-day session to see if they can override the governor’s veto of an energy siting bill.

Vermont Statehouse
Photo by Pat Bradley

The Vermont Legislature adjourned its biennium just after midnight Saturday morning. Although lawmakers approved a spending plan that’s expected to raise $49 million in new revenue, they also failed to pass some major initiatives.

Vermont Statehouse
Photo by Pat Bradley

Vermont lawmakers have wrapped up their legislative session. Below is a transcript from Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin's End of Session Speech, delivered after midnight.

Picture of marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The last vestige of hope for marijuana legalization advocates has fallen by the wayside as the  Vermont Legislature moves towards adjournment.

DNA strand
Pixabay

The Vermont House has approved legislation that expands the state DNA database by adding to the crimes that prompt collection of DNA samples from people convicted of crimes.

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