Vermont Edition

Weekdays at Noon & 7:00pm

Friday, April 12, 2019

Subscribe to the Vermont Edition Podcast:


flickr/Robert Scott Photography / Governor Shumlin hopes to raise $17 million by taxing break open tickets.

During his budget address last week, Governor Shumlin said the state should tax break open tickets. He believes these unregulated lottery-style tickets could generate $17 million for the state annually. It is believed that as many as 250 million of the tickets were sold in bars and clubs in Vermont last year. But many in the state have been left to wonder just what a break open ticket is.

Toby Talbot / AP File Photo

The Agency of Human Services is charged with addressing the thorniest social problems facing Vermonters: poverty, prisons, child abuse, elder care. Monday on Vermont Edition, our guest is the leader of that agency, Doug Racine. We'll look at the major challenges this agency is trying to address, and the money it takes to do the work.

Senate Transportation chairman Dick Mazza says he'll oppose a primary enforcement seat belt law this year
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

People are driving more fuel-efficient cars, which is just one reason that Vermont transportation revenues are down. That means that the state could miss out on available federal funds. Some lawmakers want to raise new transportation revenues so this funding doesn't go unclaimed.

House Transportation Committee Chairman Pat Brennan of Colchester and Dick Mazza, who chairs the Senate Transportation Committee, discuss the options available to the state.

Also on the program, VPR's John Dillon provides analysis of the week's news.

ASSOCIATED PRESS / This undated publicity image released by Activision shows soldiers and terrorists battling in the streets of Yemen in a scene

Last week President Obama called for more research into the effects violent video games have on young minds. Vice President Biden told representatives from the video game industry that they needed to address how they are perceived by the public. Indeed, the public conversation about violence in our society often lays some of the blame at the feet of the video game industry.

Vermont's Economy

Jan 23, 2013
Flickr/ Erik Jaeger

Federal lawmakers managed to keep us from going over the 'fiscal cliff,' but that doesn't necessarily mean the economic outlook for 2013 is rosy. Incomes actually rose in Vermont last year, but we still have over 5% unemployment. What can we learn from the economic indicators of the last few years about where Vermont might be headed?

We'll talk about Vermont's economy with Art Woolf, Economics professor, at UVM and Paul Cillo, President of the Public Assets Institute.

AP/Toby Talbot / Education Secretary Armando Vilaseca with Governor Peter Shumlin.

Education has been a hot topic in Montpelier.During the last session, Vermont lawmakers passed legislation that elevated the state's chief education official from a commissioner to a Cabinet-level secretary. During his recent inauguration speech, Governor Peter Shumlin addressed nothing but his goals for education.

AP/Toby Talbot / House Speaker Shap Smith with Governor Peter Shumlin.

During his inauguration speech last week, Governor Peter Shumlin proposed a plan to increase child care subsidies by taking money from the earned income tax credit. We hear House Speaker Shap Smith's take on the plan, he discusses the proposal to ban semi-automatic assault weapons and a bill to decriminalize marijuana.

He also discusses the future of the Waterbury State Office Complex, possible budget cuts and the possibility of raising the gas tax.

AP Photo/Alden Pellett / Tiffanie Beaulieu, of Highgate, Vt., breastfeeds during a protest next to the Delta Airlines counter in the Burlington

The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to cover breast pumps and visits with lactation consultants. New insurance plans, many of which reset at the start of the new year, will now have to reimburse new mothers for these services.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza / Gun store owner Henry Parro posts an ad for a gun on his store's Website on Monday in Waterbury. Parro says his store has seen a

President Obama announced his plan to curb gun violence late Wednesday morning from the White House. We look at what the president's recommendations mean to Vermont with advocates for gun control, and supporters of gun rights. The president's policy announcement coincides with the one-month anniversary of a mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. This week also marks the introduction of a bill in the Vermont Senate to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

AP/Jeff Barnard / Private lands provide many opportunities for public recreation in Vermont.

Vermont offers a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities and not all of those are on public land. A good deal of the hiking, fishing, snow shoeing and cross country skiing we do takes place on private property.

AP/Toby Talbot / Gov. Peter Shumlin points to supporters during his inauguration to a second term on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 in Montpelier.

Governor Peter Shumlin chose one topic only for his inaugural address - education. The governor will be our guest Friday on Vermont Edition to explain the education priorities he set out in Thursday's speech. We also talk with Shumlin about whether he'll push for gun control and the potential for a gas tax increase to generate revenue for the Transportation Fund.

Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont's Legislature knows super majorities. The Republicans held one in the House and Senate for over 100 years from the mid-1800s through the mid-20thCentury. At times during that span, the House had over 200 Republicans and the Senate didn't have a single Democrat. More recently, the Democrats have enjoyed the uber-advantage. So how big a deal is having a supermajority?

Kirk Carapezza / VPR

Today Vermont Edition is broadcasting live from a little alcove in the Statehouse. It's the opening of Vermont's legislative session, and what happens at the statehouse has far reaching effects. As the politicians, lobbyists, reporters and gadflies come pouring into Montpelier today, we'll be there too to make sure you know what's in store this upcoming session.

AP/Toby Talbot

Roughly seventy percent of the homes in Vermont have already been installed with smart meters which will let consumers (and utility companies) monitor their power usage on a daily basis. With a smart meter, consumers will be able to tell how much power they used doing laundry,or cooking dinner, rather than just finding out how much they used per month,in a bill.

VPR/Ric Cengeri / Part of the Race: Are We So Different? exhibit at ECHO

When you identify yourself by race, what do you think that's based on? A cultural definition? Or a scientific one? Does race even exist?

UVM Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics John Burke discusses why science now questions whether race is really an accurate way of identifying people. And Molly Loomis describes the current exhibit on race at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center and how it has fostered a wider discussion in the community.

Vermont and Lincoln

Jan 4, 2013

The new movie about President Abraham Lincoln has raised a lot of interest about Lincoln's role in the Civil War and the difficult decisions he had to make. We'll discuss some of the key Vermont connections to Lincoln and how Vermonters responded to Lincoln's leadership with historian Howard Coffin and Hildene Executive Director Seth Bongartz.

Also, we'll hear from Congressman Peter Welch about his vote on the last minute 'fiscal cliff' legislation.

A survey from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department assesses Vermonter's opinions on a variety of issues. We're talking about the results.
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Courtesy of Macmillan/Gary Matthews / Author Louise Penny

Quebec author Louise Penny has now completed eight of her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache murder mysteries. The series follows the exploits of the sincere Surete du Quebec officer as he solves murders throughout the province, including in the small, secluded Eastern Township village of Three Pines. 

She discusses her latest book, The Beautiful Mystery, the next chapter in the Gamache series and details of her first book becoming a CBC movie.

AP/Musadeq Sadeq

In a way, haiku poems are the original 'tweets'. They're short distillations of impressions, observations and insights.

As we close out 2012, we're looking for your summary of the year in haiku form.

Just as there was plenty to tweet about in 2012, there is much that lends itself to haiku. Politics, the weather, sports, and personal trials and triumphs are rich with haiku possibilities.Vermont Poet Geof Hewitt and poet and VPR jazz host Reuben Jackson join us to talk about haiku and power of poetry.

AP/Toby Talbot / The Democratic primary for Attorney General between incumbent Bill Sorrell and challenger T.J. Donovan was one of the biggest

The debate over basing the F-35s in Burlington raged this year. As did the construction of industrial wind farms. The merger between Green Mountain Power and CVPS also had its detractors. A heated primary campaign for Attorney General didn't stop the Democrats from a near sweep of statewide races. The state almost fully recovered from Tropical Storm Irene,but FEMA funding was short of what was expected. And the governor had a much-publicized encounter with some bears.