Amid Shifting Landscape, UVM President Calls for Increased State Funding

By Kirk Carapezza University of Vermont President Thomas Sullivan is making the rounds at the Statehouse this week to urge lawmakers to approve $42.5 million in funding for the state’s flagship institution. Sullivan’s final push comes as administrators across the country are considering fundamental changes to the traditional higher education model. Since taking the helm [...]

Kunin Pushes for Paid Sick Leave Legislation

By Kirk Carapezza Former Governor Madeleine Kunin is throwing her political capital behind a bill that would create paid leave in Vermont. She calls the policy a win-win for both employers and workers. When she was governor, Kunin says she didn’t seek similar legislation because family-work policies were not part of the legislative conversation at [...]

House Approves Bill Aimed At Protecting Towns From Floods

By Kirk Carapezza Eighteen months after Tropical Storm Irene, the Vermont House has passed a bill that aims to help towns protect against future floods. The measure approved this morning would require municipal and regional planning commissions to plan for future flood resiliency as part of their plans. Cities and towns continue to debate whether [...]

Pipeline Company Disappointed With Town Meeting Votes

By John Dillon The head of a pipeline company targeted by voters at town meeting says he’s disappointed in the results. Twenty-nine towns approved non-binding resolutions against using an existing pipeline to carry tar sands oil across northern Vermont for export via Portland, Maine. Larry Wilson, the chief executive of the Portland Pipe Line Corp., [...]

Incoming Guard Leader Says Budget Uncertainty Is Greatest Threat

By Kirk Carapezza It’s down to just hours, now, until the sequestration – a massive reduction in federal spending – kicks in. The automatic cuts will have an effect on the daily lives of Vermonters, including civilian defense employees in the Vermont National Guard. Gov. Peter Shumlin was at Camp Johnson in Colchester Thursday morning [...]

Shumlin Says Emergency Fuel Supply Has Run Dry

By Kirk Carapezza Gov. Peter Shumlin announced on Wednesday that Vermont’s emergency fuel assistance for low-income Vermonters will run out of funds by the end of the week. His administration is asking the Legislature to come up with additional funding – something that he admits is hard to find in a tight budget year. As [...]

Sequestration Looms, Wind Bill Gets A Makeover

VPR Staff House Speaker Shap Smith said Tuesday the possibility of new budget cuts from Washington could cause enormous problems with Vermont’s budget for next year. Smith said a prolonged sequestration of funds will also jeopardize a number of the Governor’s new spending plans for 2014. “The budget that we’ve got in front of us [...]

Senate Committee Turns to Childcare Unionization

By Kirk Carapezza On Wednesday, a key Senate committee will consider whether to extend collective bargaining rights to childcare providers. The Senate Economic Development Committee will take testimony on a bill that would allow workers to form a union. Supporters say the measure would improve the quality of early education in Vermont, but self-employed providers [...]

As Sequester Looms, Vermont Guard Grows Accustomed to Preparing for Cuts

By Kirk Carapezza States are bracing for pending federal budget reductions set to take hold in just four days unless Congress and the White House strike a deal to avert what lawmakers in Washington are calling sequestration. In Vermont, the White House says education and the military could see some of the biggest reductions if [...]

A Look Ahead at the Legislature This Week

VPR Staff State lawmakers this week will take up a bill that would suspend utility-scale wind projects in Vermont for up to three years. The legislation also requires that towns approve the towers and turbines planned on Vermont ridgelines. This bill proposes to prohibit most commercial construction, including electric generation facilities, in state parks and [...]