The Trump Budget Threat

July 13, 2017

While new information regarding Russian government involvement in President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign dominated national news this week, VTDigger’s Washington, D.C. reporting has focused on a different story from the Trump White House.

Multiple budget proposals released by the Trump administration this spring have provided a revealing look into the president’s funding priorities. If Congress approves a budget that looks anything like these blueprints, federally funded programs in Vermont could see major cuts.

On this week's podcast, Jasper Craven, who reported from Washington, D.C. for the first six months of this year, explains the key provisions.


Obamacare Repeal and Vermont

July 6, 2017

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would delay its vote on legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Next week, legislators return to Washington to resume discussion of a health care proposal that could have a major impact on Vermont.

VTDigger health care reporter Erin Mansfield explains how the ACA has impacted the state and what health care in Vermont might look like if the law is repealed.


Jane Sanders and Burlington College Explained

June 29, 2017

Last week, VTDigger reported that Jane Sanders, the wife of Sen. Bernie Sanders, has hired attorneys to represent her in a Justice Department probe of a land deal she orchestrated as president of Burlington College. Records obtained by VTDigger in April confirmed that the investigation was taking place.

This week's podcast features two stories about Sanders’ leadership at the school. Morgan True talks about the land deal that has brought federal investigators to the now-defunct college's campus. Plus, Jasper Craven breaks down an arrangement Sanders made with a woodworking school run by her daughter that has raised questions in recent months.


An Epidemic Evolves

June 22, 2017

The number of opiate overdoses in Vermont has increased every year since 2014, and preliminary numbers from the first quarter of 2017 indicate that the state is on track to break another record this year. This week, Morgan True describes a recent initiative to help high-risk individuals through coordination between law enforcement, social service agencies and others. Plus, Elizabeth Hewitt tracks the rise of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that accounts for an increasing number of accidental overdoses every year.


Special Session Preview

June 15, 2017

Last month, Vermont's legislators did what they do every year: they passed a budget bill and adjourned. But this year, they did so knowing that Gov. Phil Scott would veto that budget because it did not address his proposal to make changes to teachers’ health care negotiations. The special legislative session to finalize a resolution to the standoff begins next Wednesday.

Erin Mansfield, VTDigger's health care reporter, joins Tiffany Pache, our education reporter, for an overview of next week's action.


Coventry’s Missing Money

June 8, 2017

About 1,000 people live in the Northeast Kingdom town of Coventry. About $1.4 million may be missing from the town's bank accounts.

Six independent auditors have identified financial gaps under the watch of Coventry's longtime treasurer, Cynthia Diaz. After thirteen years, she may finally be forced out of office this week.

VTDigger's Dan Schwartz discusses what we know about Diaz, and Editor Anne Galloway talks about what we still hope to find out from public records.


The Health Care Deciders

June 1, 2017

Last week, Gov. Scott announced that Kevin Mullin, a state senator from Rutland, would be the new chair of the Green Mountain Care Board. As chair, he's now the top health care regulator in the state, leading the group that decides on health insurance prices, hospital budgets, and more. In this week’s podcast, Erin Mansfield, VTDigger's health care reporter, talks about the Green Mountain Care Board: who they are, what they do, and how their decisions affect every Vermonter who relies on a hospital for medical care.


Pot or Not?

May 25, 2017

Gov. Phil Scott this week vetoed a limited marijuana legalization bill. At the same time, he said he would consider a revised version of the bill if lawmakers are willing to make changes in an upcoming session. In this week's podcast, VTDigger's Elizabeth Hewitt and the Vermont Press Bureau's Neal Goswami discuss the future of legalization in Vermont.


The $26 Million Question

May 19, 2017

Earlier in the legislative session, Gov. Phil Scott announced a proposal to shift collective bargaining on teachers’ health plans from the local level to the state level. Now, the Legislature has been facing the threat of a budget veto while preparing to adjourn for the year. VTDigger’s Mark Johnson and Elizabeth Hewitt describe how we got here.