House Gives Final Approval To Gas Tax

By John Dillon The House has given final approval to legislation that makes major changes to how the state taxes gasoline sales. The bill adds a 2 percent sales tax in addition to a tax on per gallon sales. That amounts to about an 8 percent tax increase. In 2014, the sales tax would be [...]

House Passes Gas Tax, Equal Pay; Senate Turns To Social Media

VPR Staff By a three-to-one margin, the Vermont House has given preliminary approval to a bill that would significantly change the way the state taxes the sale of gasoline. The bill moves away from the current per gallon tax and towards a sales tax on the price of gas. A final vote is expected on [...]

House To Consider Pair Of Anti-Narcotics Bills

By Kirk Carapezza Lawmakers are spending most of their time this week on the House and Senate floor, debating a dizzying number of bills – from a gas tax to a social media bill. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee is finalizing a wide-ranging piece of legislation designed to strengthen Vermont’s response to prescription drug addiction. [...]

Senate Delays Wind Debate

By Kirk Carapezza There’s a lot of arm-twisting going on in the halls of the Statehouse today, after the Senate delayed a much-anticipated, much-contested vote on a bill that would subject renewable energy projects to more regulation. For months, the bill has divided environmentalists over the role of Act 250, Vermont’s development control law. Even [...]

Senate Panel Expected to Authorize Drivers’ Identification for Migrants

By Kirk Carapezza The Senate Transportation Committee expects to recommend a bill as early as Wednesday that would grant driver identification cards to Vermont residents who are in the country illegally. And committee members say they’re preparing to take a lot of heat for the bill. The measure would authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles [...]

House Advances Housekeeping Health Bill

VPR Staff Lawmakers face a long list of bills that are ready for debate by the full House and Senate. That’s because a key deadline passed last week that required committees to complete work on bills that they want to be addressed this year. And that’s how the House found itself tied up on the [...]

Smith Says Lawmakers Need to Scale Back Spending

VPR Staff House Speaker Shap Smith says a tight state budget means lawmakers will have to scale back Gov. Peter Shumlin’s spending priorities. The governor wants to increase child care subsidies by using $17 million now spent on a tax credit for working Vermonters. Smith says that idea lacks support in the House. And the [...]

Shumlin Sticks to His Budget Proposals

By Kirk Carapezza We’re quickly approaching the crossover point for this legislative session, and Governor Peter Shumlin is not backing down from his spending and revenue proposals. This week, Shumlin has been meeting with Senate and House leaders behind closed doors. It’s part of an effort to see if there’s any way the Legislature can [...]

Vt. Chamber of Commerce Opposes Paid Leave Bill

By Kirk Carapezza The Vermont Chamber of Commerce says a bill in the House that would guarantee paid sick days for Vermont workers goes too far. If the measure were approved, workers would gain one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked up to 56 total hours – or seven days – each [...]

F-35 Opponents Herald Leahy Letter As Major “U Turn”

By Kirk Carapezza Some of the opponents of an Air Force proposal to base the next generation F-35 fighter jet in Vermont are sincerely hoping a letter sent by Sen. Patrick Leahy on Tuesday might indicate a striking shift in his views on the Pentagon’s program. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, [...]