Vermont is a New England state is bordered by Lake Champlain which covers half the state’s border it shares with New York, and the Green Mountains which run north-south, throughout the entire length of the state. Of the 50 states, it is the second smallest by population, and sixth smallest by land area. Montpelier is the smallest of the 50 US-state capitals, and the state’s largest city is Burlington.
Vermont was among the first states to approve women’s suffrage, several years before it became a part of the national constitution. Women were first allowed to vote in the state in the 1880 election. Vermont was also the first state to introduce civil unions in 2000. It was the first state to legislate same-sex marriage in 2009, and in 2018 it became the first state to legalize use of cannabis for recreational purposes.
Vermont’s economy is strongly driven by federal and state government positions/work. Real estate, manufacturing, healthcare, retail trade, finance, insurance, and construction are also prominent industries contributing to the state’s economy. Tourism is also an extremely component which contributes to the state’s economy. The state has some of the largest ski resorts in New England, and sites including Stowe, Lake Champlain, Burlington, and the Coolidge Homestead are among some of the popular state attractions tourists visit annually.
The state government in Vermont is roughly modeled after the federal government, with political power divided between and executive, a legislative and a judicial branch. The state’s constitution, adopted in 1793, includes the Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the State of Vermont, which was one of the most extensive guarantees of rights and civil liberties at its time of adoption. Ahead of the Bill of Rights by over a decade, this constitution prohibited slavery and indentured servitude, and allowed for universal male sufferage, with no property ownership requirement.
The executive branch is responsible for enforcing the laws of Vermont. The Governor is the supreme executive, and his or her offices are in the Pavillion in the capital city of Montpelier. Additional state agencies comprise the executive branch.
The legislative branch, like many state legislative bodies, is a bicameral institution with an upper house, the Senate, and a lower house, the House of Representatives. The legislature meets in the Vermont State House, with 30 Senators and 150 Representatives.
The judicial branch in Vermont includes the Vermont Supreme Court, which is the sole appellate court in the state. The Supreme Court has five justices who serve six year terms. The Vermont Superior Court, which provides jury trials in civil and criminal cases, with general jurisdiction. Additional courts include:
- Probate Court with jurisdiction over trusts, wills and estates, adoptions, termination of parental rights, name changes, and other matters.
- The District Court has jurisdiction on cases involving families, juveniles, minor crimes and violations, and civil matters under $25,000.
- The Family Division has jurisdiction over divorce, custody/support and domestic violence cases.
Vermont is part of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
The National Law Review covers several stories and the latest news as it pertains to the state of Vermont. Coverage including labor/employment topics like Ban the Box Legislation, net neutrality laws and cybersecurity, non-compete agreements, marijuana legalization and implications for employers, and federal and state agency news and litigation, are among the areas which visitors can read about as it relates to the state.