Vermont Public is independent, community-supported media, serving Vermont with trusted, relevant and essential information. We share stories that bring people together, from every corner of our region. New to Vermont Public? Start here.

© 2024 Vermont Public | 365 Troy Ave. Colchester, VT 05446

Public Files:

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact or call 802-655-9451.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Vermont Legislature
Follow VPR's statehouse coverage, featuring Pete Hirschfeld and Bob Kinzel in our Statehouse Bureau in Montpelier.

What May Happen Next In Budget Standoff Over Vermont Teachers' Health Care?

Angela Evancie
VPR file
Teachers' health care remains a key issue for legislators as they head back to the Statehouse again this week to continue the legislative session.

A news conference was held Wednesday at noon in Montpelier by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe to discuss the status of negotiations around Vermont teachers' health care and subsequently the Vermont state budget.

VPR reporter Peter Hirschfeld has been following the negotiations and attended the Wednesday conference, and he joined Vermont Edition to provide a status update on where things currently stand in Montpelier.

Vermont teachers' health care became a major focus in the dwindling weeks of the session after Gov. Phil Scott issued a proposal in late April which called for a statewide teacher health care contract as way to achieve a possible $26 million in savings.

The impact that proposed budget plans – both the governor's and a more recent one by House Speaker Mitzi Johnson – could have on collective bargaining rights has become a major point of discussion in this ongoing debate.

Update 3:15 p.m. The copy of this post was updated after its original publication to account for developments related to negotiations and clarify the discussion around collective bargaining.

Listen to this full conversation from Vermont Edition above. Broadcast live on Wednesday, May 17, 2017 during the noon hour; rebroadcast during the 7 p.m. hour.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
The Vermont Statehouse is often called the people’s house. I am your eyes and ears there. I keep a close eye on how legislation could affect your life; I also regularly speak to the people who write that legislation.
Latest Stories