Vermont Legislature

Vermont Government Needs Transparency, Supporters Of Ethics Commission Say

Vermont Government Needs Transparency, Supporters Of Ethics Commission Say

Sponsors of legislation that would create an Ethics Commission in Vermont say they're optimistic that their proposal will become law during the 2016 session.

Vermont is a national leader on many issues, but transparency of state government isn't one of them. The Center for Public Integrity gave Vermont a D+ grade because Vermont is one of just three states in the country that does not have an ethics commission or a financial disclosure policy for all elected officials.

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Board Of Education Delays Vote On Merger Rules

Some school districts on the fast track to merge will have to wait a little longer for clarification of a controversial aspect of the new consolidation law.

The State Board of Education voted Tuesday to table discussion of a motion that would have offered guidance to two potentially merging school districts if one offers school choice and the other does not.

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Democrats Seek Replacement For Rep. Ellis

Democrats Seek Replacement For Rep. Ellis

Democrats in Bolton, Huntington, Waterbury and Buel's Gore are assembling a committee to seek out and recommend candidates to fill a vacancy in the Vermont Statehouse. Democratic Rep. Rebecca Ellis resigned her post earlier this month to take the job of senior counsel for government affairs at the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation.

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An Unknown, 28-Year-Old Lt. Gov. Candidate Has Deep Pockets

An Unknown, 28-Year-Old Lt. Gov. Candidate Has Deep Pockets

He’s 28 years old and he’s never served in public office. But Brandon Riker wants to be the next lieutenant governor of the state of Vermont. And the young Democrat is ready to spend time, and lots of his own money, to make it happen.

On a recent Tuesday evening, Lamoille County Democrats gathered in the parking lot of the Hyde Park Town Hall. When it became apparent no one had a means to unlock the front door, it was decided the meeting would be held instead at a nearby pizza joint.  

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Waterbury Rep. Ellis Resigns For Job At Agency Of Natural Resources

Rebecca Ellis, who has served in the Vermont House of Representatives since 2011, resigned her post this week to take a job with the state’s Agency of Natural Resources, the governor’s office announced today.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced that Ellis, who served as an Assistant Attorney General from 1997 to 2011, will start a job as Senior Counsel for Government Affairs at the Department of Environmental Conservation on August 10.

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Vermont Marijuana Legalization Advocates Stress Importance Of Small And Local

Vermont Marijuana Legalization Advocates Stress Importance Of Small And Local

If a Vermont State Senator and some advocacy groups in Windham County have their way, the phrase "Vermont Home Grown" could be a reference not just to food, but also to marijuana.In fact, Vermont Home Grown is one of the groups that joined Senator Jeanette White this week at the River Gardens in Brattleboro to discuss proposed legislation that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Vermont. Reporter Howard Weiss-Tisman covered the meeting and has been writing about the legalize-it movement in the Brattleboro Reformer. Read his story here.

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Is Vermont Ready For Ethics Reform?

Is Vermont Ready For Ethics Reform?

There’s been a lot more talk over the past week about something that’s had a hard time finding political traction in Vermont: tougher ethics laws. Republican State Representative Heidi Scheuermann has advocated for ethics laws in the past and joined VPR to discuss the issue.

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Protecting Vermont's Threatened And Endangered Species

Protecting Vermont's Threatened And Endangered Species

Vermont recently added nine species to the state’s threatened and endangered list: three different types of bumble bees, the Fowler’s Toad, the rusty blackbird and four plants. In total, Vermont lists 51 animals and 163 plants as threatened or endangered. 

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Statehouse Ceiling? Group Looks To Boost Democratic Women In Vermont Politics

Statehouse Ceiling? Group Looks To Boost Democratic Women In Vermont Politics

The prospect of an open seat for governor has sparked a frenzy of political posturing in recent weeks. But the field of potential candidates for statewide office is dominated by men, and Vermont has long fared poorly when it comes to electing women to high-profile offices.

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State Officials Growing Concerned About Long-Term Federal Transportation Funding

State Officials Growing Concerned About Long-Term Federal Transportation Funding

State officials are growing concerned that Congress won't pass a long-term federal transportation bill this year. They’ve developed a contingency plan to ensure that road and bridge construction projects in Vermont stay on schedule this summer. 

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