Peter Hirschfeld

Peter Hirschfeld covers state government and the Vermont Legislature. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse.

Hirschfeld is a leading Vermont journalist who has covered the Statehouse since 2009, most recently as bureau chief for the Rutland Herald and Times Argus. He began his career in 2003, working as a local sports reporter and copy editor at the Times Argus.

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise, Gov. Phil Scott has activated the Vermont National Guard to boost health care capacity across the state.

State agencies and local shelters are scrambling to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness who may be particularly vulnerable to the disease.

Updated 10:30 p.m.

Hours after Gov. Phil Scott ordered the dismissal of all Vermont schools by Wednesday to slow the spread of coronavirus, the Champlain Valley School District announced it was closing Shelburne Community School Monday and Tuesday after being notified of a community member with connections to the school who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Elections security experts have discovered new ways to manipulate the type of voting machine used in Vermont, but local elections officials say it's unlikely that bad actors could exploit those vulnerabilities to change the results of an election.

The 2020 Democratic presidential primary will be similar to 2016 in at least one regard: Bernie Sanders is running for the nomination. But political observers say the electoral landscape has changed dramatically since Sanders’ last presidential bid, and not necessarily in ways that favor his latest candidacy.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu have announced plans to create a bi-state voluntary paid family leave program. Scott said the proposal will help attract new workers to both states without the need to implement a state-mandated program.

Vermont State Police have disbanded a decades-old program that used military helicopters to spot illicit cannabis farms from on high.

As Bernie Sanders seeks to broaden his national appeal among the black and Latino voters who would be critical to his success in a 2020 presidential campaign, the white senator from Vermont is struggling to improve a complicated relationship with racial justice leaders in his own backyard.

The state of Vermont’s sterling reputation on Wall Street took a modest hit Tuesday when Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the state’s general obligation bond rating.

Vermont branches of the NAACP will hold their first-ever candidate forums in Rutland and Brattleboro this weekend, but most of the major-party nominees invited to participate have chosen not to attend.

The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has taken over an investigation into allegations of racial harassment against a sitting state lawmaker in Bennington, amid criticism from racial justice advocates over local law enforcement’s handling of the case.

Many Vermonters were shocked last month when the state’s only African-American female lawmaker announced that, after years of racial harassment, she was withdrawing from her re-election campaign.

Tabitha Pohl-Moore, the Vermont director of the NAACP, was less surprised.

Democratic candidate for governor Christine Hallquist is receiving threats of violence after her historic victory in last week’s primary.

A midsummer primary in one of the smallest states in the country took on historic national significance Tuesday night when Christine Hallquist became the first openly transgender candidate in U.S. history to win a major party gubernatorial nomination.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott and Democratic lawmakers are inching closer to a budget compromise that would avoid the possibility of a government shutdown. But when it comes to the core issue that led to the impasse, the two sides remain at odds.

Racial justice advocates say students of color often don’t see themselves reflected in public school curriculum in Vermont, but supporters of an ethnic studies bill are having a tough time getting traction in Montpelier.

A weeks-long debate in the Vermont Legislature over controversial gun legislation came to end on Friday when the Senate held a final vote on a bill known as S.55.

A bill that would require background checks for private gun sales in Vermont has been stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee since last year, but the legislation could be headed for a vote on the Senate floor even without the committee’s approval.

Vermont has become the first state in the nation to legalize marijuana through an act of the Legislature.

Prohibition might have been repealed in 1933, but modern-day bootleggers are still sidestepping state liquor laws. Now Vermont officials want heavier penalties for people trafficking booze from neighboring New Hampshire.

Hospice care is gaining in popularity nationally, but Vermonters have been slow to embrace the trend. So one local hospice agency is trying to change the way people here think about death and dying.

In approving stricter sound limits for ridgeline wind turbines Thursday afternoon, the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules has managed to upset both sides on the wind energy debate.