Government & Politics

In South Carolina, Sanders Gives Biden A Pass

3 hours ago
Sen. Bernie Sanders standing with a microphone
Kit Norton / VTDigger

Editor's note: This story is part of a collaborative reporting project between VTDigger and VPR.

CHARLESTON, S.C. — For more than an hour on Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders instructed a full College of Charleston’ gymnasium on the need to raise the minimum wage, the importance of his “Medicare for All” proposal, criminal justice reform and protecting undocumented immigrants.

Mark Hughes, founder of Justice for All, says a "bias-incident reporting system" launched earlier this year has done little to addressed the systemic racism affecting people of color in Vermont.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Racial justice advocates say they’re unimpressed by a reporting system launched earlier this year that changed the way police handle racial bias incidents in Vermont.

People sit in a meeting room in front of a screen.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Town officials from across southern Vermont are considering a communications union district to bring broadband into underserved parts of the region.

We're looking into whether parties in Vermont could cancel the state's presidential primary.
Tony Talbot / Associated Press File

In the last few days, a number of states — including South Carolina, Nevada and Kansas — have cancelled their Republican presidential primaries for 2020. These are states where the political parties control the operations of their own primaries, but could a political party in Vermont cancel the state's presidential primary?

The ten candidates in Thursday's Democratic debate (clockwise from top left): Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O'Rourke, Sanders, Warren and Yang.

Ten presidential candidates gathered in Houston on Thursday for the third Democratic debate. We're talking with political scientists and campaign watchers to break down the debate,  the policy issues they put forth and what it means for the field of Democratic candidates still seeking the party's nomination for the presidency.

Climate change — or, more precisely, fighting climate change — has quickly become one of the top priorities among Democratic voters. Increasingly dire warnings about the devastating effects of climate change, as well as the sweeping Green New Deal proposed this year in Congress, have helped the topic gain traction among voters and politicians alike.

State of Vermont, Courtesy

Regulators say Vermont's largest solid waste district needed approval for disposing of crushed glass that was supposed to be recycled.

Updated at 2:53 p.m. ET

There is widespread support among Americans — Democrats, Republicans and gun owners alike — for a number of initiatives to curb gun violence they would like to see Congress pass, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Laws that would screen for the types of people who could use a gun are broadly popular, but when it comes to bans on certain types of weapons and ammunition, a divide emerges.

Health care helped propel Democrats to victory in a wave of elections in 2018, and it remains a top issue for voters heading into 2020.

But the conversation has changed over two years; while in the last midterms health care debates revolved around protecting the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, after GOP attempts to repeal it, presidential candidates ahead of 2020 are focusing more on overhauling the entire health care system.

New Hampshire Democrats – and nearly every candidate seeking their party’s nomination for president -- were in Manchester Saturday for the state Democratic convention.

Ruth Davis of Durham, who wore a button for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, said seeing so many candidates up close would prompt many voters, even ones who think they’ve made up their minds, to reassess the field.

"Vermont Edition" discusses what steps might be taken to cotrol rising health care costs in the state.
Sudok1 / iStock

With the recent approval of double-digit rate hikes for the state's two major health care insurers — Blue Cross/Blue Shield and MVP Health Care — by the Green Mountain Care Board, many in Vermont are concerned. We'll hear about what's driving these cost increases and some possible solutions for reigning in the rising cost of health care.

The Trump administration is rolling back requirements for new, energy-efficient lightbulbs. The Energy Department announced the move on Wednesday, withdrawing standards that were to be put in place to make commonly used bulbs more efficient.

A woman stands next to a Tesla battery in her basement.
Dave Gram / Associated Press File

The state advocate for utility ratepayers has called for an investigation into Green Mountain Power’s plans to expand its home energy storage program. Vermont's Department of Public Service wants to know if all customers benefit.

A row of Hartford Selectboard members seated a table
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

Voters in Hartford will decide whether they want their town to flout federal law when they weigh in on a Town Meeting Day ballot item that would impose new restrictions on communication between local police and federal immigration authorities.

A dump truck dumping trash
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Back in the day communities all over Vermont had their own town dump, basically holes in the ground where people could just get rid of whatever garbage they were able to haul over.

But the politics and the economics of solid waste have changed — and Vermont's last unlined landfill, in Salisbury, closed on Sept. 1.

With five months before primary season begins, election officials around the country are busy buying new voting equipment.

Their main focus is security, after Russians tried to hack into U.S. election systems in 2016. Intelligence officials have warned that similar attacks are likely in 2020, from either Russia or others intent on disrupting U.S. elections.

A group of brown Jersey cows standing together outside
John Dillon / VPR

Organic dairy farmers in Vermont say inconsistent enforcement of industry standards have allowed large-scale producers to market milk that is not truly organic. The farmers are asking Congress for help to close regulatory loopholes they say have given some large farms an unfair advantage in the market.

Foreign interference didn't begin in 2016. It didn't end with that election. And U.S. officials expect it to remain an issue through the 2020 elections as well.

Here's what you need to know.

A police car on State Street in Montpelier
John Dillon / VPR

Montpelier was at somewhat of a standstill Friday as law enforcement followed up on reports of a person with a gun at Vermont state government buildings. As of late Friday afternoon, a lockdown of the state office complex had been lifted, but two state government buildings in Montpelier remained closed.

A photo of Hull Maynard.
photo provided by family

Former Rutland County Sen. Hull Maynard died Thursday at age 85. A Republican from Shrewsbury, Maynard served in the Vermont Senate from 1996 through November 2009, when he resigned his seat to spend more time with his family.