Senate Passes Campaign Finance Reform Bill

On March 24, the Vermont Senate gave its final approval by a vote of 22-8 to legislation (S.51) that would make important changes to state campaign finance law. Most significantly under S.51, only individuals, political committees, and political parties would be allowed make political contributions to candidates. The bill would increase transparency in campaign finance as well, by requiring political…

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About that Whopper from Casella…

H.175 is the best opportunity we’ve had in decades to modernize Vermont’s popular Bottle Bill. Recently, hundreds of our VPIRG members responded to our call to action and sent an email to their representatives in the Legislature. This added a burst of momentum to our campaign and apparently scared the bejesus out of the corporate…

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VT House Approves $150 Million Community Broadband Bill

The Vermont House voted 145-1 Tuesday to give initial approval to H.360 – the community broadband acceleration bill. The bill uses federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to make the most significant investment ($150 million) in state history toward delivering high-speed internet to every Vermonter. If enacted, this…

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Vermont Senate Advances Bill to Ban Toxic PFAS Chemicals

Today, the Vermont Senate gave initial approval to legislation (S.20) to ban PFAS and other toxic chemicals from certain products. The bill is supported by firefighters, business groups, educators, public health and children’s advocates, and environmental groups. The bill will be up for its final Senate vote tomorrow, before being…

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Legal Aid and VPIRG lead push to prevent utility shut offs

No Vermonter should have to worry that their utilities could be disconnected during this pandemic because they are unable to make bill payments.  Last March, the Vermont Public Utilities Commission (PUC) issued an order halting all involuntary utility disconnections in the wake of the emerging COVID crisis. That order is set to expire in…

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VT Senate Approves “Vote by Mail” Legislation

The Vermont Senate gave initial approval today in a voice vote to legislation that will make permanent the policy that was put in place as an emergency measure in 2020 to mail all active registered voters a ballot for the general election. In addition to making universally-mailed ballots permanent for…

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Majority of Vermonters Support Bottle Bill

More than 4 out of 5 also want it updated to cover more containers. Vermont’s Bottle Bill is not only one of the state’s most successful environmental programs, having recycling more than 10 billion containers since 1972, it also may be the most popular.  The Vermont Public Interest Research Group…

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Senate Committees Advance Campaign Finance Reform

On Wednesday, March 10th, the Senate Government Operations Committee advanced legislation (S.51) that would effectively ban corporate campaign contributions directly to candidates. If enacted, S.51 would be a meaningful step towards getting big money out of politics. Currently, Vermont’s campaign finance law allows corporations to contribute the same amount as individuals. The idea here is simple: corporations are…

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Burlington Votes to Adopt Ranked Choice Voting

On Town Meeting Day, Burlington voted resoundingly in favor of a better ballot. Ballot Question 4, a charter change to adopt ranked choice voting for city council elections passed decisively with 64 percent of the vote, and with nearly 4,000 more ‘yes’ votes than ‘no’ votes. Once approved by the legislature, the measure will take effect in 2022.   The Better…

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House Committee Advances Community Broadband Bill

The House Energy and Technology Committee advanced legislation (H.360) Wednesday aimed at accelerating the development of community broadband in Vermont. If enacted, this VPIRG-supported legislation will make significant resources available to the state’s Communications Union Districts (CUDs) – public, municipal entities formed to provide universal, affordable, world-class broadband to their…

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