Government & Politics

The Vermont Legislature

Follow VPR's statehouse team, Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in at our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier on Twitter. Explore our full coverage of the Vermont Legislature.

Follow #vtpoli for the latest news from newsmakers, reporters and Vermonters across the state.

Listen In On The Statehouse

VPR provides live streaming feed of the House and Senate proceedings, without editing or commentary. The streams are active when there's a meeting in the House or Senate and the chamber microphones are turned on; otherwise, the streams are quiet.

Click to listen to the Vermont House | Vermont Senate | Full Audio Player | More Options

Explore Major Vermont Political Issues

Act 46 | Water Quality | Guns | Marijuana | Immigration

Check Out Ask Bob

VPR reporter and Vermont Edition host Bob Kinzel has been covering the Statehouse since 1981 — longer than any continuously serving member of the Legislature. To take advantage of his wealth of institutional knowledge, he answers your questions on our series — Ask Bob. Check out past questions and submit your own here.

Catch Up With Vermont's Congressional Delegation

Sen. Patrick Leahy | Sen. Bernie Sanders | Rep. Peter Welch | Congress

Have a story idea or news tip?

Send us an email.

Updated June 21, 2021 at 9:04 PM ET

The White House on Monday opened the door to revisiting the filibuster — a hotly contested issue across political lines — setting the stage for a bitter congressional fight to do away with the controversial debate tactic.

A photo of the Vermont Statehouse, taken from below the steps leading up to it, with a green forested hillside in full green foliage behind it on a sunny day.
Doug Kerr / Flickr

Next week, Vermont lawmakers will hold a special veto session in an effort to overturn three of Gov. Phil Scott's vetoes. This hour, we preview the session with a roundtable of reporters, and we answer your questions.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 4:28 PM ET

President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth — the celebration to commemorate the end of chattel slavery in the United States — as a federal holiday.

Federal employees will observe the holiday for the first time on Friday.

Updated June 17, 2021 at 11:34 AM ET

The U.S. House of Representatives moved Thursday to repeal a nearly two-decade-old war powers measure, marking what many lawmakers hope will be the beginning of the end of wide-ranging authorities given to the president after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The vote was 268-161. The measure now heads to the Senate.

Updated June 16, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

President Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Geneva Wednesday. Here's what you need to know:

  • The closed-door meeting, which began at about 7:45 a.m. ET, lasted 3 hours, 21 minutes, shorter than the White House had projected.
  • They held separate news conferences with Putin going first.
  • Putin described the meeting as "constructive."
  • Biden said he did what he came to do.

Matt Lammers was completely alone the first time we met.

The cigarette butts and old ammunition cans clearly marked his apartment door. Camouflage netting blocked the Arizona sun, but it also sent a message: this guy was still in Iraq. I knocked on the door at 9 a.m. and woke him from the only hour of sleep he'd had all night.

He apologized. I apologized. And after a couple hours killing time around Tucson, I came back. Lammers rolled out his door for a smoke in a manual wheelchair, shirtless. Which saved questions — scars and ink tell his story.

A brick motel with greenery out front and blue sky in the background
Elodie Reed / VPR

Updated 7:45 p.m. 6/15/2021

Gov. Phil Scott says an executive order he signed Tuesday will allow Vermont to continue drawing down federal aid even after the state of emergency lifts, but advocates for low-income Vermonters say they remain concerned about the loss of housing and food aid for vulnerable residents.

A yellow sandwich board reading "glover ems vaccine clinic J&J shot 9-10:30 am" with people standing in the background
Elodie Reed / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott announced today he’s lifting remaining pandemic restrictions after Vermont reached 80% of people ages 12 and older receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

CARBIS BAY, England — Security is tight in the English county of Cornwall as President Biden and other leaders of the Group of Seven – seven of the world's wealthiest countries — prepare to meet for a weekend summit beginning Friday.

But if you want to catch a firsthand glimpse of Biden, Germany's Angela Merkel or the other powerful politicians, your best bet may be a two-story sculpture that replicates their likenesses using electronic waste in the hills overlooking the resort where they are meeting.

Mehran Mossaddad has spent much of the pandemic scared and lying awake at night. He's a single dad with an 10-year-old daughter living outside Atlanta.

"I get panic attacks not knowing what's in store for us," he says. "I have to take care of her."

Mossaddad drives Uber for a living, but when the pandemic hit, he stopped because he couldn't leave his daughter home alone. As a result, he has fallen more than $15,000 behind on his rent, and his landlord has filed an eviction case against him.

Like a lot of us, Amtrak had a rough 2020. Ridership fell nearly half from the prior year.

But with the worst of the pandemic seemingly in the past, Amtrak doesn't just want to get back to where it was before the recession – chugging along, slowly adding new riders for a few decades. It wants Americans to fall back in love with trains.

Amtrak's planning on adding 39 new routes across the country and boosting service on lines that already exist. It's setting a goal of 20 million more customers each year – a 60% jump from its pre-pandemic high.

The American political tradition enshrines majority rule, with rights for the minority. But some wonder whether the United States is sliding toward minority rule.

More and more Democrats are saying the system is out of whack.

Twice in the last 20 years, their presidential candidate got more votes but lost the election. And now that the 2022 redistricting cycle is beginning, Republicans in many states will be able to get fewer votes but end up with a majority of seats.

A bipartisan probe led by two Senate committees has found that U.S. Capitol Police and other authorities were in possession of more alarming intelligence clues ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the complex than previously documented.

The findings are part of a report issued Tuesday by the Senate Rules and Homeland Security committees looking into the series of failures of intelligence, security preparations and emergency response before and during the insurrection.

Vice President Harris is in Guatemala City on Monday to kick off the first foreign trip of her time in office, a two-day mission aimed at trying to strengthen ties with Guatemala and Mexico and tackle tough and longstanding problems such as corruption, violence and poverty — some of the issues behind the record number of migrants from Central America seeking asylum at the U.S. border in recent months.

Updated June 12, 2021 at 6:35 AM ET

The United States is about to embark on a big national experiment with 4 million unemployed workers serving as guinea pigs. And it all centers on $300 a week.

That payment was intended as a lifeline for millions of Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic: an extra $300 a week on top of regular unemployment benefits.

One million Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are heading to Mexico from the U.S. with most of the shots set to service resort areas and spots along the border.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating controversial Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in connection with campaign contributions made by former employees of the longtime businessman, a spokesman of DeJoy's confirmed Thursday.

Mark Corallo, the spokesman, said in a statement that the department is probing "contributions made by employees who worked for him when he was in the private sector."

DeJoy had been a Republican megadonor before he was appointed to lead the U.S. Postal Service during the Trump administration.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont’s housing market, which was tight before the pandemic, has gotten even worse. The number of homes available in Vermont dropped by almost 70% over the past year, according to the Vermont Association of Realtors.

After more than 50 years, the federal government is lifting a roadblock to cannabis research that scientists and advocates say has hindered rigorous studies of the plant and possible drug development.

Since 1968, U.S. researchers have been allowed to use cannabis from only one domestic source: a facility based at the University of Mississippi, through a contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

President Biden visited the Delaware Memorial Bridge in New Castle Sunday where he spoke in observance of Memorial Day. The annual memorial service, hosted by the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, is frequently attended by Biden.

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, commemorates people who died in U.S. military service.

Pages