Bob Kinzel

Bob is a veteran Vermont journalist, specializing in political reporting. He is based in VPR’s Capital Bureau located across the street from Vermont’s Statehouse. Prior to joining VPR full time in 2002, Bob ran the Vermont News Service for 21 years. The service provided daily local news for eleven stations, including VPR. Bob started the News Service following a stint as news director for WNCS.

The Attorney General's office and the Vermont Human Rights Commission have launched a public education campaign to alert consumers and businesses about the existence of gender-based pricing for goods and services in the state.

During the current presidential campaign, Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has received more individual contributions than any other person in the history of American politics.

And at the same time that Sanders campaigns tirelessly to win the party's nomination, he's also used his fundraising abilities to help local and state candidates across the country.

Gov. Peter Shumlin wants House Speaker Shap Smith to bring a bill legalizing marijuana to the House floor for a vote, but Smith says he's not going to do this at this time because there's not nearly enough support in the House to pass the legislation.

Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law Thursday that backers say will add thousands of Vermonters to the voting rolls. Under the law, people will automatically be registered to vote when they get or renew a driver's license.

The Vermont Senate has given its unanimous support to legislation that's designed to improve employment opportunities for people who have a criminal record in their past. Backers of the bill say it's needed because many people who've been convicted of a crime never get past the application process if they have to initially disclose this information to an employer.

Vermont's gun laws have emerged as a hotly-debated issue ahead of next week's Democratic presidential primary in New York State — and the leading candidate has selectively used statistics to help frame the debate. 

As the Democratic presidential primary heads to high-stakes contests in New York and Pennsylvania, Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign says it's confident that he'll secure the nomination if he wins the most "pledged" delegates to the national convention.

The Senate has given its unanimous approval to legislation that's designed to make it easier for people to register to vote.

The House has advanced legislation that raises the legal age to purchase or possess tobacco products from 18 to 21. The proposal will be phased in over a three-year period. The vote was 84 to 61.

This week the House is scheduled to debate a bill raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21. Backers of the legislation say it is one of the most important public health issues of the session.

House leaders are calling for a comprehensive independent assessment of Vermont Health Connect, the state's health care exchange, to determine the best way to provide coverage to Vermonters in the future.

But the Shumlin administration says the study isn't needed.

Gov. Peter Shumlin says he'd like to see lawmakers legalize marijuana during the current legislative session. But it now appears unlikely that the proposal will allow individual Vermonters to grow their own marijuana.

Sen. Bernie Sanders' quest to win the Democratic presidential nomination has come a long way since the Vermont senator formally entered the race in late May.

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is surging in new polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, and the new poll numbers could pose some key challenges to the Sanders campaign in the coming months.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says he's very disappointed that the Democratic Party has scheduled only four candidate debates before the Iowa caucuses are held on Feb. 1.

So the Sanders campaign is considering a plan to set up their own debates with some of the Republican candidates.

A key strategy of Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is a plan to use social media to get his message out to millions of people.

There are signs that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is heating up. As Bernie Sanders rises in many early polls, his economic agenda is drawing the fire of some of Hillary Clinton's supporters.

Gov. Peter Shumlin's unexpected announcement this week that he won't seek a fourth term in office has set off a wild scramble among a large group of potential gubernatorial candidates. One of those candidates is Congressman Peter Welch.

The decision by Gov. Peter Shumlin to abandon a single payer health care system is having an unexpected impact on Vermont's larger businesses. And lawmakers will now have to make decisions that Vermont's health care law never anticipated.


Longtime Washington County Sen. Bill Doyle says he'll propose a constitutional amendment to make it less likely that lawmakers will be asked to elect a governor in the future. Doyle says the results of this year's election show why his amendment is needed.  

Gov. Peter Shumlin has agreed to a request from the White House to investigate whether the state could house some of the undocumented children now being detained in the southwestern part of the country.

The request from the White House is the first step in a very long process. 

The initial goal is to determine how much capacity each state has to house some of the nearly 60,000 children who have streamed across the border in the last few weeks.

Have you ever wondered why there are toll booths on the interstates in New Hampshire and Maine and not in Vermont?

Under federal law, those states are allowed to impose tolls because they used a considerable amount of their own money to build their interstates. But states like Vermont, that used a lot of federal money to build the roads, aren’t allowed to charge tolls.

This could change soon because the White House is backing a plan to allow all states to charge an interstate toll if they want to. Congressman Peter Welch supports the change.

The number of people who can obtain medical marijuana would increase under a bill that has now passed the Legislature and is on its way to the governor for his signature.

The bill also calls for a study to determine how much money the state could reap in new tax revenue if marijuana is legalized in the future.

Under Vermont’s current medical marijuana law, no more than 1,000 people can be registered to receive marijuana in total from the four dispensaries in the state. Those dispensaries are located in Burlington, Montpelier, Brattleboro and Brandon.