Good News: PUC Halts Involuntary Utility Disconnections!

The Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Tuesday issued an order halting all involuntary disconnections due to nonpayment of electricity, natural gas, and landline phone utilities until March 31st, 2021. We are overjoyed and thank the PUC for making the right decision to prevent Vermonters from going without heat or…

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PUC: Reinstate Moratorium on Utility Disconnections

No Vermonter, particularly in the midst of an ongoing spike in COVID-19, should have to worry that their heat, electricity or water could be disconnected this winter because they are unable to make bill payments due to the pandemic. That’s why we have joined Vermont Legal Aid and half a…

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Governor fails to lead on climate action

Late last month, the Vermont Senate cleared the final hurdle to ensuring the Global Warming Solutions Act becomes law with the upper chamber’s 22-8 override of Gov. Phil Scott’s veto. I am thrilled to see the act pass, with both chambers of the General Assembly upholding overwhelming majorities in favor…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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