Vermont Senate | WAMC

Vermont Senate

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Becca Balint
Vermont Legislature

The Vermont Legislature adjourned the first half of the biennium session on May 21st after passing a $7.3 billion state budget.  It was a completely virtual session in which legislators had to determine how to allocate millions of dollars in federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Vermont Statehouse (file)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature has adjourned its session.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate passed a $7.1 billion budget for fiscal year 2022 Friday afternoon.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature is reaching the mid-point of its session.  The Senate pro tem and chairs of key committees recently discussed key pieces of legislation that have been passed by that chamber.

Screenshot of Vermont Senate virtual session March 18, 2021
Vermont Legislature

On Thursday the Vermont Senate gave final approval to a measure that would permanently allow mail-in voting.

a hand puts an envelope with a ballot into a collection box
wikipedia

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a measure that would permanently allow mail-in voting.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature convened this week to begin a new biennium. A new House Speaker, Lieutenant Governor and Senate Pro Tem, all women, have been sworn in over the past two days.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Becca Balint
Vermont Legislature

When the new biennium of the legislature begins on January 6th, the first woman to serve as the Vermont Senate Pro Tem is expected to be confirmed. During a caucus in November, Democrat Becca Balint won the nomination and with Democrats controlling the Senate, her election to the post is secure. Balint, a Brattleboro resident who is openly gay, is one of a cadre of women assuming top positions in the Statehouse in 2021.  She tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley why she wants to be pro-tem of the Vermont Senate.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Women are expected to hold most of the top leadership positions in the Vermont Legislature next year.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Legislature adjourned on June 26th and plans to return at the end of August.  The leader of the Senate and its finance committee chairs recently discussed the Legislature’s distribution of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds allocated to the state, and the work to be completed when they return.

Ten Vermont Senators observe remotely as a quorum meets at the Statehouse to pass a measure to allow remote voting
Glenn Russell - Pool Photographer / VTDigger

A quorum of the Vermont Senate met at the Statehouse in Montpelier this week to vote on a measure that will allow them to vote electronically during the pandemic.  Vermont Governor Phil Scott also said he plans to extend his Stay at Home order.

Vermont Senate reconvenes to consider coronavirus measures
Pool photo by Michael Dougherty / VTDigger

The Vermont Senate met at the Statehouse in Montpelier Tuesday and passed a series of measures to assure state operations can continue during the coronavirus pandemic.  The chamber also passed measures to increase aid to Vermonters who need additional help.

Vermont Statehouse  (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Last week, the Vermont Senate adjourned and with that, the legislature ended the session until January.  The first half of the biennium was marked by a number of controversial bills but ended with two key pieces of legislation left unfinished.

Vermont Statehouse Spring 2017
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a state constitutional amendment intended to assure women’s reproductive rights cannot be rescinded.

Vermont Statehouse  (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Senate has been considering a bill that would not only ban the use of single-use plastic bags but also bar plastic straws and expanded polystyrene products.  On Friday, the chamber gave preliminary approval to a bill that some advocates say is the most comprehensive in the country.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe
Vermont Legislature

It is crossover week at the Statehouse in Montpelier - a time when Vermont lawmakers scramble to finish legislation so it can move to the other chamber for consideration. If a bill does not crossover it’s unlikely to survive the session.  Hearings this week included the Senate Judiciary Committee going to the Vermont Technical College to take comments on a new firearms bill.  It’s one of the measures that Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe is highlighting for completion this week. The Democrat/Progressive says the key provision in the bill is a waiting period for purchasing a firearm.

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.

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.

Vermont Senate Chamber
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Democrats in the Vermont Senate are expected to pursue measures in the upcoming session that would ensure a woman's legal right to an abortion in the state.

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 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.

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.

Senator Peg Flory
Vermont Legislature

A longtime state lawmaker has announced her retirement from the Vermont Senate.

Marijuana
flickr

Supporters of a bill to legalize the recreational use of marijuana held a press conference in the Vermont Statehouse this afternoon as the bill awaits debate in the state Senate.

Senator Becca Balint
Vermont Legislature

Vermont Governor Phil Scott delivered his second State of the State Thursday. The Republican is calling for continued fiscal restraint.  Senate Majority Leader Becca Balint, a Democrat, was in the chamber in Montpelier. She says there are some areas where they agree, but she questions if the governor’s fiscal austerity policy is viable over the long-term.

Vermont Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe (left) and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson outline legislative priorities
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The leaders of the Vermont House and Senate discussed the legislative priorities for the upcoming session with reporters in Montpelier today.

Vermont House meets in special session 6-21-17
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Lawmakers headed back to Montpelier Wednesday as the Vermont Legislature met for a special veto session.  After a long day of twists and turns, the House and Senate eventually approved the 2018 state budget, which includes an adjusted teacher health care deal that the governor wanted included in the fiscal plan.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Vermont Legislature adjourned on May 19th with the threat of a budget veto by the governor and a special session planned at the end of June to deal with vetoes.  Although the session ended with the focus on teacher health care contracts, the leaders of the legislature say the controversy overshadowed a number of legislative accomplishments.

Vermont Statehouse
WAMC/Pat Bradley

The Democratically-controlled Vermont Legislature adjourned last Friday despite budget veto threats from the Republican governor over the failure to reach a deal on a new teacher health insurance negotiation plan.

Despite a flurry of activity and work remaining on a number of bills, the Vermont Legislature is targeting adjournment by the end of this week.

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