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Speaker Smith rallies his troops

MONTPELIER — Lawmakers, one month into the legislative session, will soon be casting tough votes on bills in committee, and then on the House and Senate floors. That fact is not lost on House Speaker Shap Smith, who looked to rally his troops Tuesday at the weekly Democratic caucus. A state budget with a $112 million gap that must be closed means cuts will be made to programs that constituents likely depend on. And the public is demanding property tax relief, but voters don’t want to see changes to their local school districts. Smith, now in his fourth term as speaker, knows just how a legislative session plays out. Continue Reading →

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Capitol Beat podcast for Jan. 5, 2015

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Capitol Beat Podcast – Episode 1
Vermont Press Bureau Chief Neal Goswami and VPB reporter Josh O’Gorman preview the upcoming legislative session from the gubernatorial election to sleeper issues. A new episode will be posted every Monday afternoon, as well as a separate podcast featuring Gov. Peter Shumlin every Friday afternoon.  

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Christie fundraiser sells out

MONTPELIER — The Vermont GOP’s Welcome Winter Gala featuring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has sold out, according to a party official. Brent Burns, the state GOP’s political director, wrote to supporters Monday with the news. Party officials “have been absolutely overwhelmed by the excitement it has generated among Vermonters across the political spectrum,” he wrote. The event, set for Dec. 11 at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex, is being hosted by Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Stowe Rep. Heidi Scheuermann. Continue Reading →

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Christie to headline GOP fundraiser

MONTPELIER — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will be the featured guest at the Vermont Republican Party’s “Welcome Winter Gala” fundraiser next month. The event, hosted by Lt. Gov. Phil Scott and Stowe Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, will be held at the Champlain Valley Expo in Essex Junction on Dec. 11. The invitation, which went out Thursday morning, promises Vermont food, beverages and entertainment. Christie won re-election on Tuesday by a comfortable margin over his Democratic challenger Barbara Buono. Continue Reading →

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