Vermont Senate

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.

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.

Senator Peg Flory
Vermont Legislature

A longtime state lawmaker has announced her retirement from the Vermont Senate.

Marijuana
flickr

Supporters of a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana held a press conference in the Vermont Statehouse this afternoon as the bill awaits debate in the state Senate.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (left), Secretary of Human Services Al Gobeille (center) and legal counsel Jaye Pershing Johnson (right)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A paperwork glitch is threatening the appointment of a regulator by Vermont’s previous governor to the state’s health care regulating board.

Reporter's notebook
Hades2k/Flickr

The Vermont state Senate has unanimously approved a measure that would provide robust protections for Vermont journalists.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

This year, as Vermonters see a new governor and lieutenant governor begin their terms, new presiding officers are also overseeing the legislature.  In the Democratically controlled House, Mitzi Johnson became the third female speaker to lead that chamber.  The Senate is being led by a Democrat/Progressive from Burlington.  Tim Ashe has been a member since 2009, sitting on key committees including Finance and Judiciary. Now in charge of the Senate agenda, he says the legislators’ key challenge comes from outside the Statehouse.

Senator Bill Doyle
Vermont Legislature

It’s a year of change in Vermont politics, with the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general all stepping aside. And a mainstay in the legislature is leaving, too. Bill Doyle began serving in the Vermont Senate in 1969 and is the longest-serving senator in the state’s history.  But the 90-year-old Republican lost his re-election bid this year.  On November 30th, he withdrew his request for a recount and conceded the race.  Doyle says activity in the statehouse become more political over the years.

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.

Pixabay/Public Domain

The Vermont Senate has voted overwhelmingly to advance a bill banning the use of what's called "conversion therapy," which is most often directed at young gay and lesbian people in a bid to make them heterosexual.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

This is “Crossover Week” in the Vermont Legislature, the annual scramble to clear bills out of committees and onto the floor so that they can move to the opposite chamber for completion.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Vermont Senate has given final passage to a bill to legalize possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by residents of the state.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults in the state.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate last week appeared to give final approval to a bill that mandates paid sick leave. But as WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the chamber will reconsider that vote tomorrow.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

The Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted to approve a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state. The idea is so controversial that even members of the same party are divided over the issue.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has advanced a bill that would require most employers to provide workers with paid time off when they're sick.

classroom
en.wikipedia.org

The Vermont Senate has approved a measure to repeal penalties for high-spending school districts that were part of an education bill passed last year. The underlying bill was designed to encourage school districts to merge with their neighbors.

Vermont House Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature begins the second half of the 2015-2016 biennium today.  There are a number of issues up for debate, including recreational marijuana legalization and the possible suspension of a senator.  But the focus according to legislative leaders must remain on fiscal issues.

Norm McAllister
Vermont Legislature

A Vermont Senate committee has voted to recommend to the full Senate that it suspend Senator Norm McAllister while criminal sex charges are pending against him.

Norman McAllister
Vermont State Police

Franklin County Vermont state Senator Norm McAllister was arrested at the Statehouse in early May and charged with sexual assault, human trafficking and prohibited acts. The allegations include trading sex for rent payments.  A group of residents is now circulating a petition calling for his resignation.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont lawmakers passed a $5.5 billion budget with $30 million dollars in tax increases before ending their 2015 session Saturday night. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has a wrap-up.

Picture of a Vermont School Bus
Jared C. Benedict/Wikimedia Commons

The Vermont Senate has passed its version of a bill to overhaul Vermont's public school system. It takes a less mandatory approach than a version passed earlier by the House.

WAMC/Pat Bradley

Senate lawmakers in Vermont have passed a house bill that would create criminal penalties for "revenge porn" — the sharing of explicit images of a person without consent.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to pared-down economic development legislation, but its principal backer says he'll continue fighting to restore some of its initial provisions.

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