Banning plastic bags, losing minimum wage & waiting on campaign finance reform: #Vt Advocates on wins & losses in 2019 legislature

In January 2019, public interest advocates weighed in on the Vermont Conversation with their priorities for the 2019 legislative session in Vermont. Five months later, they return to discuss what happened: who won, who lost, what’s still in play on key legislation including banning plastic bags, $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, medical monitoring for toxics and campaign finance reform. (June 5, 2019 broadcast)

Paul Burns, executive director, Vermont Public Interest Research Group

Lauren Hierl, executive director, Vermont Conservation Voters

Dan Barlow, Public Policy manager, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

“We trust women:” Sen. Becca Balint on Vermont’s historic abortion rights law

In the final days of the 2019 legislative session, the Vermont Legislature passed the most sweeping reproductive rights protections of any state in the country. Gov. Phil Scott has indicated that he will allow the law to stand. This has occurred against a backdrop of other states including Alabama, Georgia and Missouri effectively banning abortion. Vermont Senate Majority Leader Sen. Becca Balint (D-Windham) talks about what she considers to be one of the proudest moments of her legislative career. “We trust women to make decisions about their health care,” she said. “It’s radical notion right now to think that women should have full control over their bodies.” Balint also weighs in on why the legislature has struggled to pass a $15 minimum wage, and her response to climate activists who were arrested in the State House over what they charged was inaction on climate change. Includes longer version of interview than aired on WDEV. (May 22, 2019 broadcast)

Senator Becca Balint, Vermont Senate Majority Leader

Rep. Tom Stevens on the Fight for $15, paid family leave, VT National Guard controversies & Gov. Scott

Rep. Tom Stevens is chair of the Vermont House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs, He was elected in 2008 as state rep for Waterbury, Huntington, Buel’s Gore & Bolton. He  has served as Chair of the Waterbury Select Board and President of the Waterbury Village Trustees. Tom is President of the board of Downstreet Housing and Community Development. This year, Stevens was named Legislator of the Year by VBSR. He discusses prospects for a $15 minimum wage, paid family, allegations of sexual abuse at the Vt National Guard, and new political dynamics with Gov. Phil Scott. (January 30, 2019 broadcast)

Rep. Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury), chair, House Comm. on General, Housing and Military Affairs

The Advocates: Vermont’s public interest groups mobilize for change

Will 2019-2020 bring Vermont paid family leave, $15 minimum wage, smart justice reform, stronger protection from toxic chemicals and clean water? These are some of the goals of advocates for social, economic and environmental justice who have descended on the Vermont State House pressing for change on these and other issues in the new legislative biennium. We hold a roundtable discussion with leaders from some of Vermont’s key advocacy groups to hear about their priorities and strategies for the 2019-2020 legislative session. (January 9, 2019 broadcast)

Dan Barlow, Policy Manager, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility

Paul Burns, executive director, Vermont Public Interest Research Group 

Lauren Hierl, executive director, Vermont Conservation Voters

Kate Logan, director of programming & policy, Rights & Democracy

James Lyall, executive director, American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont

 

How the Fight for $15 caught fire

When fast food workers walked off their jobs and launched the Fight for $15 in late 2012 in New York City, few people would have predicted that a few years later, the $15 minimum wage would become law. We discuss how the fight for $15 caught fire to become law in California and New York, and beyond. (April 6, 2016 broadcast)

Yannet Lathrop, Researcher and Policy Analyst, National Employment Law Project