Vermont Legislature

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

The Vermont legislature’s last biennium ended following a temperamental special session that pit the Democratically-controlled legislature against the Republican governor.  In November, voters sent Gov. Phil Scott to a second term and placed a Democratic veto-proof majority in both chambers of the legislature. During Governor Scott’s inaugural address last week, he called for finding common ground through consensus and compromise.  Progressive/Democratic Senator Tim Ashe, who is serving his second term as ProTem, tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley he heard a couple themes in the governor’s speech.

VT Gov. Phil Scott
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Vermont’s five constitutional officers were sworn into office for the 2019-2020 biennium Thursday afternoon. After taking the oath, Republican Governor Phil Scott delivered an inaugural address outlining his priorities for his second term.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lawmakers are back in Montpelier for the start of the 2019 session of the Vermont Legislature.

From new gun laws to a nurses’ strike and the legalization of marijuana, 2018 brought a lot of change to Vermont. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reviews some of the benchmarks.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Newly elected Vermont legislators have been participating in orientation sessions and parties are caucusing in Montpelier to choose their nominees to lead the House and Senate in the next session.  Over the weekend, House Democrats met and re-nominated the current Speaker for a second term.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott says incoming lawmakers should expect a lean budget in the upcoming session of the state Legislature, which begins in January.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
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Democrats and Progressives in the Vermont Legislature made gains in last Tuesday's elections, and now have a veto-proof majority if both left-leaning parties work together.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Democrats and Progressives appear to have gained seats in the Vermont Legislature.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Following two previous attempts, Vermont lawmakers passed a third budget on Monday and sent it to Governor Phil Scott, who had vetoed the first two plans saying they violated his pledge not to raise taxes or fees. Faced with a July 1st deadline, the governor announced Monday night that he would allow the latest version of the 2019 budget to become law without his signature.  The Republican discussed his decision Thursday during his first press conference since the move.

Governor Phil Scott discusses Vermont budget
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott says he's satisfied with many provisions in the new state budget, yet remains disappointed Democrats in the Legislature did not sign onto his plan to hold property tax rates at last year's level.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

It appears Vermont will avoid a government shutdown. With the July 1st fiscal year deadline approaching, Governor Phil Scott has decided to allow the third version of the budget that legislators have sent him to become law, but he’s not signing the fiscal plan.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Tuesday, the Vermont House failed to obtain the two-thirds support necessary to override Governor Phil Scott’s budget veto and must now craft a third budget. If it is not completed and approved by July 1st, the state faces a government shutdown.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House on Tuesday failed to override Governor Phil Scott’s second budget veto.

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Vermont Governor Phil Scott recently signed a bill that moves the state toward establishing an individual mandate that would require all residents have health insurance.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont House is expected to  vote on Tuesday whether they will override Republican Governor Phil Scott's veto of the second budget bill.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

On Thursday, the Vermont Senate passed the second budget bill of the year, despite a likely veto from Republican Governor Phil Scott.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has approved the second budget bill of the year, but it faces a likely veto from Republican Governor Phil Scott.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Democratically-controlled Vermont House passed a revised 2019 budget bill on Tuesday but Republican Governor Phil Scott may veto the compromise measure if the Senate also approves the measure.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

As the budget dispute continues in Vermont, a proposal has been offered that would avert a state government shutdown.  But an effort to fast-track the bill in the Vermont House failed to receive enough votes on Wednesday.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott called a special session of the state legislature to begin today. It comes after he promised to veto the budget and property tax bills presented to him, although he has yet to officially veto the fiscal plans.  On Tuesday, he nixed a number of other bills, including one that would raise the minimum wage, and a paid family leave measure.  Vermont Senate Pro-Tem Democrat/Progressive Tim Ashe says that move was an example of continued frustration the legislature has with the administration.

Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (left) and Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

Both chambers of the Vermont Legislature gaveled into special session this morning — and after less than an hour each chamber adjourned until next Tuesday.  After adjournment the House and Senate leaders expressed continued frustration with the Scott Administration.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Will Vermont lawmakers return for a special session next week? At his weekly press conference this afternoon, Vermont Governor Phil Scott discussed his move to call legislators back to Montpelier May 23rd. The Republican is promising to veto the-just passed state budget and property tax bill.

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.

VT Gov. Phil Scott
WAMC/Pat Bradley

Republican Gov. Phil Scott says he plans to call lawmakers back to the Statehouse next week to prevent what he says is an unnecessary property tax increase on Vermonters.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature adjourned late Saturday despite state budget and property tax bill veto threats from the Republican governor.

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The Vermont Legislature has passed a bill that advocates say will protect consumers from what they say are unfair contract clauses but opponents fear will have dire consequences on the economy.

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.

Following hours of debate, the Vermont House gave final approval to a package of gun ownership restrictions Tuesday night.

The Vermont Legislature did not pass gun legislation before lawmakers head home for their mid-session break as Republican Governor Phil Scott had requested, but they have made the issue a focus of their deliberations during the current session.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (left) and Senate ProTem Tim Ashe discuss Governor Phil Scott's budget address
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Phil Scott presented his $5.9 million budget plan to a joint session of the Vermont Legislature Tuesday afternoon.  But statehouse leaders say the governor has merely outlined concepts without clear details or guidance.

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