Vermont Legislature

A composite of four photos, each showing a downtown view.
VPR Staff

As lawmakers work to overhaul Act 250 — the state's main development review law — registered voters support easing environmental review for developments in Vermont's downtowns, according to a new VPR - Vermont PBS poll.

A person holds up a hand-drawn sign reading "Fake Legislative Process"
John Dillon / VPR

A key House committee Thursday approved a major overhaul of Act 250, Vermont’s development review law.

Kids' Work Chicago Daycare / Creative Commons

This month, Vermont child care provider Loveworks announced it will close its centers in Montpelier, Williston, and Milton.

In a letter to families, President Lisa Zengilowski said these locations "have proven too difficult to make financially sustainable" and will close on Friday, March 13.

Headshot of John Killacky.
Todd R. Lockwood, Courtesy

Leaving his multi-year post as executive director of the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts in Burlington and moving into a new role as a citizen legislator serving the city of South Burlington had John Killacky feeling "humbled" — and a bit nervous.

Looking down on the empty Vermont Senate chamber, with papers at desks
Elodie Reed / VPR

The Vermont Senate approved paid family leave legislation Friday by enough votes to override an expected veto by Gov. Phil Scott.

ErikaMitchell / iStock

In his State of the State address, Gov. Phil Scott outlined his 2020 legislative agenda, including a proposal to make K-12 after-school programming more accessible to Vermonters. On this Vermont Edition: universal after-school. We dive into the research, and consider what it would take to make Governor Scott's proposal a reality for Vermont.

Marc Brown, facilities director at the Kingdom East School District, near standing water
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A new survey of school districts across Vermont has revealed a backlog of more than half a billion dollars in unmet infrastructure needs.

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Romei speaks with Jane Lindholm.
Matthew Smith / VPR

Capitol Police Chief Matthew Romei is in charge of one of the smallest deputized police forces in the state. At just four full-time officers, his job is to keep the Vermont Statehouse safe and open to the public — while also providing security for state lawmakers.

An upward view of the statehouse dome.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott delivered his State of the State address Thursday and detailed key elements of his legislative agenda. Two administration officials join Vermont Edition to discuss Gov. Scott's top priorities for the 2020 session.

Looking through a doorway into the House chamber of the Vermont Statehouse.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Vermont's 2020 legislative session opened Tuesday, and Gov. Phil Scott delivered his State of the State address Thursday afternoon.

A splitscreen of the Statehouse at left in winter and at right in spring
Taylor Dobbs (left), Emily Alfin Johnson (right) / VPR File

Activists are rallying on the Statehouse steps at noon today to demand action on climate change ahead of Gov. Phil Scott's State of the State address. Many lawmakers say addressing a changing climate is a top priority this session. We're talking about what activists want and what lawmakers are pursuing when it comes to fighting climate change in this legislative session.

A spilt image, one of the red chairs in the Vermont House chamber, the other of the green carpeted Senate chamber.
Elodie Reed / VPR

The hustle and bustle of opening day has settled, leaving a legislature ready to get down to business in this second half of Vermont's biennium. So what exactly are legislative leaders hoping to accomplish this time around? On Vermont Edition, we return with a second round of coverage live from the Statehouse. We talk with  House and Senate leadership, and we also hear from you.

A person walks toward the Vermont Statehouse past the snowy lawn.
Elodie Reed / VPR

Around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, foot traffic started trickling up the sidewalks around the Vermont Statehouse for the 2020 session's opening day. Along the way, people hauled rolling file boxes, greeted each other with hugs and declared,"Back to school!"

An aerial shot of the House floor on the opening day of the Vermont Legislature in 2019.
Oliver Parini / For VPR

Vermont Edition takes you inside the Statehouse as lawmakers return to Montpelier. We're broadcasting live from the capitol's Cedar Creek Room with the sounds and voices of the Vermont Legislature on opening day!

A snow-covered Vermont Statehouse, with an American and Vermont flag flying in front.
Oliver Parini / For VPR

Democratic lawmakers closed out Vermont's 2019 legislative session in May under a cloud of discord after House and Senate negotiators failed to reach agreement on paid family leave and increasing the minimum wage. But House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe say they're on a united front heading into 2020.

Lydia Brown / For VPR

On Tuesday, Jan. 7, Vermont's legislature begins work on the second half of the biennium. But why do we have a biennium anyway? And how can civic-minded citizens keep up to date with what's happening in the State House?

A person sits at a table with papers on the surface.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Lawmakers need to beef up resources at the Vermont Human Rights Commission in order to investigate allegations of racial bias in the criminal justice system, according to an advisory panel created by the Legislature.

Two young men hold a banner ahead of a crowd during a rally by climate activists last year. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow private citizens to sue the state of Vermont if it doesn't reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Elodie Reed / VPR File

Vermont lawmakers have begun working on a bill that would institute legally binding mandates for statewide reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse against blue sky
Ric Cengeri / VPR File

Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says the passage of a mandatory paid family leave bill will be a top priority in Vermont's 2020 legislative session, but Republican Gov. Phil Scott opposes the Democrats' approach to this issue.

Gov. Phil Scott, seen here in 2018 signing several controversial gun bills into law at a table outside the Vermont Statehouse, while others look on.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR file

Gov. Phil Scott has five days to decide whether Vermont will become the 10th state in the country to have a waiting period for gun purchases.