Politics

VTDigger regularly publishes stories about Vermont politics. We cover state elections, the Vermont Legislature, the governor’s office, state agencies and major political parties. Anne Galloway covers politics for VTDigger. She can be reached at [email protected]

Winooski voters hand Seth Leonard, 32, the mayor’s chair

Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon speaks a  news conference Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015, held by the Vermont Mayors Coalition. Other mayors attending were (from left) Mike O'Brien of Winooski; John Hollar of Montpelier; Chris Louras of Rutland; Miro Weinberger of Burlington; Bill Benton of Vergennes; Paul Monette of Newport; and Liz Gamache of St. Albans. Photo by Tom Brown/VTDigger

The 32-year-old nonprofit housing finance official replaces the retiring Michael O’Brien. Four incumbents easily won re-election in Burlington, Rutland, Newport and Vergennes.

VTDigger/Castleton poll shows strong support for background checks

Opponents of Burlington’s gun control resolutions wear blaze orange at a Burlington City Council meeting. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

A new VTDigger/Castleton Polling Institute survey shows that 77 percent of those polled support criminal background checks for gun sales. Gun rights advocates dispute the results.

Margolis: When the majority doesn’t rule

Gun Hearing

What kind of democracy is this, when the Legislature goes against the apparent will of the people?

Shumlin dips into negative approval numbers, VTD/Castleton poll shows

Gov. Peter Shumlin delivers his budget address at the Statehouse on Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

A new VTDigger/Castleton Polling Institute survey shows that 41 percent of those surveyed approve of the job Gov. Peter Shumlin is doing and 47 percent disapprove. The Legislature fares better.

ICYMI: Catch up on the week’s top stories

Budget suggestions

In case you missed it: universal background checks are abandoned, Vermont’s education reform package is on the move, lawmakers are trying to patch a $18.6 million hole, Gruber over-billed, and RESET’s costs are unknown.

This week in the Vermont Legislature Feb. 23-27

Mitzi Johnson

House Appropriations in the spotlight as it wrestles with a $112 million budget deficit.

Margolis: Budget shortfall presents hard choices

Ways and Means Committee

With a state budget shortfall exceeding $100 million and much of the fat already cut, legislators will have to decide to cut spending or raise taxes — or both.

ICYMI: Catch up on the week’s top stories

Sergeant at Arms Francis K. Brooks at the opening of the legislature in January. VTDigger

In case you missed it: a short trip for pot legalization, a new sergeant-at-arms, a deal reached in FairPoint strike, payroll tax stalls in House committee, S.9 is on the move and a green energy revolution.

Lawmakers elect a new Sergeant-at-Arms

Janet Miller

The Vermont Legislature replaces eight-year incumbent Francis Brooks with Janet Miller of the Legislative Council. The vote was 128-47.

Statehouse protests could affect sergeant-at-arms vote

Vermont State House Sergeant at Arms Francis K. Brooks announces the Governor at a joint assembly in the House chamber. Photo by Roger Crowley

The usually prescriptive election of a Statehouse sergeant-at-arms is likely to be contested this year as some lawmakers are displeased with Francis Brooks’ handling of recent protests.

VSEA urges lawmakers to protect state workers from cuts by taxing wealthy

VSEAworker

The VSEA says cuts to the state’s workforce are unnecessary and will be detrimental to Vermonters. As an alternative, the union has pitched four possible sources of new tax revenue to lawmakers.

This week in the Vermont Legislature: Feb. 17-20

The Vermont Statehouse. Photo by John Herrick

The budget is the skunk at the legislative party, and the affair will likely feature more sturm and drang than usual over the next few months.

Margolis: No primary colors likely in Vermont

Bruce Baroffio waits to vote at Northfield High School on election day. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

No candidate will cross the Connecticut. Because he or she who makes that crossing is doomed in New Hampshire, where the voters take that first-in-the-nation business seriously. They seem devoutly to believe that their right to vote first is ordained by history if not by nature and/or some yet-to-be-identified divinity.

Senator wants to match N.H. for first presidential primary

Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D/W-Washington, advocated for the passage of a toxic chemicals regulation bill on Wednesday at a Statehouse news conference. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Sen. Anthony Pollina, D/P/W-Washington, says that aside from giving Vermont a greater say in the presidential race, an earlier primary would give the state an “economic shot in the arm.”

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