News January 1

Senator Sanders

Senate Votes to Raise Taxes on Wealthy The Senate early on New Year’s Day overwhelmingly approved legislation that would allow tax rates to go up on the wealthiest Americans while putting off, for now, sweeping spending cuts. Voting before dawn on Tuesday, the Senate passed the measure 89-8. Sen. Bernie Sanders voted yes. The bill to avert the so-called fiscal cliff now goes to the House.

Year in Review – U.S. Senate In a look back at major events in 2012, Sen. Sanders won a second term “by a stunning margin,” WPTZ-TV reported on Monday. With the death of a colleague, Sen. Patrick Leahy is now the Senate's president pro tem and third in line for the presidency. VIDEO

Year in Review - Guns The year ended with a debate over gun control. Gov. Peter Shumlin said change should happen in Washington. Sen. Sanders and Rep. Peter Welch are open to an assault weapons ban. Sen. Leahy will lead hearings as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, WCAX-TV reported online. LINK

National

Senate Avoids ‘Fiscal Cliff’ The agreement primarily targets taxpayers who earn more than $450,000 per year, raising their rates for wages and investment profits. At the same time, the deal would protect more than 100 million households earning less than $250,000 a year from income tax increases that were scheduled to take effect in 2013, according to The Washington Post. LINK

Farm Programs Extended The budget package also would extend most U.S. farm support programs for a year and end fears that the retail price of milk could double. The extension rankled some farm-state lawmakers who had pushed for an overhaul of dairy support programs as part of a five-year agriculture bill, Bloomberg News reported. LINK

Vermont

Vermonter of the Year Environmentalist Bill McKibben has been among the most effective voices raising the alarm about the threats of climate change, the Burlington Free Press said in naming and Ripton, Vt., resident its ‘Vermonter of the Year” for 2012. LINK