Latest Vermont state government News

FILE - In this March 25, 2020 file photo, Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, wears a mask while talking to a lawmaker in the Vermont house chamber at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt.  In state capitols across the U.S., lawmakers have ditched decorum and sidestepped traditional public meeting requirements in a rush to pass legislation funding the fight against the coronavirus and aiding residents affected by the widespread shut down of commerce. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

Legislatures meet remotely, limit public as virus spreads

Mar. 29, 2020 10:53 AM EDT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Members of the Arkansas House met in a college basketball arena, spaced out among 5,600 seats, as they voted on ways to cover a budget shortfall caused by the coronavirus punch to the economy. When South Dakota lawmakers convene Monday to consider 10 emergency bills, it won't be...

FILE - In this March 25, 2020 file photo, Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, wears a mask while talking to a lawmaker in the Vermont house chamber at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt.  In state capitols across the U.S., lawmakers have ditched decorum and sidestepped traditional public meeting requirements in a rush to pass legislation funding the fight against the coronavirus and aiding residents affected by the widespread shut down of commerce. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

Vermont governor says decision to close schools hard, needed

Mar. 27, 2020 4:13 PM EDT

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Friday his decision to close in-person schools for the rest of the academic year is intended to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Scott said it was only a matter of time before “each and every one of us" will know someone who has died of the disease caused by the fast-spreading...

Vermont House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, left, wears a mask while talking to a lawmaker in the Vermont house chamber, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt. The House was working to pass measures designed to help the state respond to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring)

Vermont House passes virus response legislation

Mar. 25, 2020 5:56 PM EDT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — House members from across Vermont descended on the Statehouse Wednesday to give final approval to a series of measures designed to help the state respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. House leaders had hoped to be able to hold the Wednesday session with only a handful of lawmakers...

Vermont coronavirus deaths up to 8, with 123 confirmed cases

Mar. 25, 2020 3:22 PM EDT

MARSHFIELD, Vt. (AP) — A look at developments related to the coronavirus in Vermont: ___ THE NUMBERS The death toll from the new coronavirus in Vermont rose by one to eight on Wednesday, with six of the deaths linked to an outbreak at a Burlington nursing home and rehabilitation facility, the state Health...

Governor orders non-essential businesses to close

Mar. 24, 2020 6:51 PM EDT

MARSHFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday ordered in-person operations of non-essential businesses to close and Vermonters to stay home to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus as the number of deaths in the state rose by two to seven and confirmed cases increased to 95. “I want to be...

Vermont senators sit spaced apart to meet the social distance requirements set by the governor, Tuesday March 24, 2020, at the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt. The Senate met with 17 members, one over the required quorum, to pass legislation needed to confront the coronavirus pandemic. (Paul Heintz/Seven Days via AP, Pool)

Vermont Senate passes coronavirus bills; on to the House

Mar. 24, 2020 4:14 PM EDT

The Vermont Senate on Tuesday passed a series of measures designed to help the state respond to the COVID-19 outbreak that is sweeping the state and the nation. The legislation would make sure anyone who loses their job or has to leave one to care for someone who is ill will be eligible for unemployment benefits,...

Vermont reports 3 more virus deaths, all from care facility

Mar. 23, 2020 3:50 PM EDT

Three more people linked to the Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center have died after contracting COVID-19, Vermont's top public health official said Monday. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said that more than a dozen patients at the center and one staff member have now tested positive for the...

Alicia Porter, a worker at Saxtons River Distillery in Brattleboro, Vt., stands next to containers that are used to store the high proof gin. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

Vermont urges aggressive virus mitigation efforts at centers

Mar. 22, 2020 3:22 PM EDT

The Vermont Health Department is urging the state's long-term care facilities to take the temperature of all staff members before they enter the buildings where they work. Workers who are showing any signs of being ill are being told to stay home. The moves are part of the state's effort to stop the spread of the...

With bears waking up, Vermont urges bird feeder removal

Mar. 22, 2020 8:55 AM EDT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — With bears waking up from their winter sleep, the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is urging people to remove their bird feeders. The warm spring weather and melting snows means bears are waking up hungry. As part of the effort to avoid conflicts between bears and humans,...

Alicia Porter, a worker at Saxtons River Distillery in Brattleboro, Vt., stands next to containers that are used to store the high proof gin. (Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

Vermont cases up more than 50%; 7 more nursing home cases

Mar. 21, 2020 7:12 PM EDT

The number of cases of COVID-19 in Vermont jumped more than 50%, going from under 30 to approaching 50, the state health department reported Saturday. Of the new cases, more than half a dozen were at the Burlington Health and Rehabilitation Center, which had already reported nearly a half dozen cases and the...