Stop Out of State and Private Prison Incarceration

For a few months now, we at VPIRG have been expanding some of our research, advocacy, and organizing to include issues related to criminal justice reform and public safety. And we’ve been following the shocking reporting of mismanagement coming out of the Mississippi prison that houses more than 200 incarcerated Vermonters.   The prison is owned by CoreCivic, a private prison…

Read More

Improving Policing in VT – Vote Needed this Week

Back in August, we joined the ACLU of Vermont, Justice for All, and over a dozen other organizations in proposing a 10-point platform for reimagining policing in Vermont. Now, Vermont has an opportunity to take an incremental but concrete step towards improving public safety with legislation governing police use of force statewide.  This use of force bill, S.119, would promote peaceful, de-escalatory resolution while also providing clarity and uniformity around how and when police are…

Read More

Our Thoughts on Gov Scott’s Veto of The Solutions Act

Update: You can find our take on Gov Scott’s veto below. As the House was preparing for its ultimately successful override vote on Thursday, however, the chair and vice chair of House Energy, Reps Tim Briglin (D-Norwich) and Laura Sibilia (I-Dover) spoke eloquently and in detail as to why, in…

Read More

Reimagining Policing in Vermont

Today, VPIRG joined the ACLU of Vermont, Justice for All, and more than a dozen other organizations in releasing a letter urging Vermont leaders to fundamentally reimagine the role of police in Vermont communities and to commit to the ten-point action plan below. Police reform is just one component of…

Read More

VPIRG Launches Racial Justice Program

Two months ago, after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, we told you that VPIRG “stands in solidarity with those demanding justice and working to address systemic racism.” Solidarity isn’t about making a statement – it’s about taking action. In launching our Racial Justice Program, we are…

Read More

Coalition Thanks Lawmakers for COVID Work; Continuing Climate Work

Today VPIRG joined with more than 40 Vermont businesses and organizations and over 600 individual Vermonters to deliver a letter to Vermont lawmakers thanking them for their work thus far to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in Vermont and for continuing to make action on the climate crisis a priority…

Read More

Climate Action Back in Focus in VT Legislature

Over the past two plus months, the legislature has been hard at work addressing the immediate needs of Vermonters as the COVID-19 crisis has unfolded. Legislators have passed or dug into putting a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, directing hazard pay to essential workers, enabling safe elections during the pandemic,…

Read More

Old vehicle emissions: Fix them, don’t exempt them

The Transportation bill being debated in the VT legislature creates a program to help Vermonters who are low income repair cars’ emissions control systems, keeping pollution out of our air. Unfortunately, it also lets cars that fail emissions tests off the hook as long as they’re 15 years old or…

Read More

Climate “Action” Commission Misses the Mark

In July 2017, Gov. Phil Scott established the Vermont Climate Action Commission, tasked with creating a plan for Vermont to meet our climate and energy commitments. The commission recently released its final report and, unfortunately, it’s a 119-page disappointment. The report fails for three reasons. First, Gov. Scott corrupted the process by…

Read More

VT Budget Climate Package Update

While legislators and the governor continue to debate critical components of the state budget, all indications are that he, and they, intend to leave the budget’s climate package as the House and Senate passed it earlier this month. Last year, we told you about an incredible opportunity for Vermont to…

Read More