"It's the highest responsibility of government to protect its citizens-- from those that are most vulnerable from those that are most dangerous," said Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, R-Vermont.
Fresh on Brian Dubie's mind-- 12-year-old Brooke Bennett who was found murdered just twelve days ago. The investigation into her death has led to the arrest of her uncle Michael Jacques, a convicted sex offender who police now say was released from probation seven years early. He's been charged with kidnapping Brooke and sexually assaulting another young family member.
"The legislature-- in light of this terrible tragedy-- wants to act. I'm recommending that the governor call the legislature in session 30 days from today to pass these reforms," said Dubie.
Those reforms include chemical castration of repeat offenders, mandatory sentences for some violent crimes and the adoption of Jessica's Law-- which would set a 25-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for a first time child sex abuser. Dubie also wants to expand Vermont's Special Investigation Units.
Vermont's Speaker of the House and Democratic Candidate for Governor Gaye Symington says she'd like to know why current laws were not followed before passing new ones.
"It's the governor's job to decide to call a special session and if Governor Douglas calls for a special session I would certainly be there. As governor, however, I would call for an independent investigation of why it is that our current laws to prevent and deal with sex crimes do not seem to be being followed," said Symington.
Monday evening, the Governor's Press Secretary said Governor Douglas would call a one day special session if it appeared likely that a package of reforms would be passed... that there would be agreement ahead of time. At this point, that doesn't appear likely.
The leader of the Vermont Senate and the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold their own press conference Tuesday to outline their goals and to announce a series of public hearings to be held over the next three months. Those meetings are all designed to investigate how best to strengthen Vermont's sex crimes laws.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains. There were localized areas of high water and damage, like a road washout on Mud Hollow Road in Kirby. Water remainsMore >>
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 10:58 AM EDT2014-04-16 14:58:11 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
A Montgomery farmer and a sheriff's deputy joined forces for a daring rescue to help a woman who got trapped in her truck by rising floodwaters.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:08:35 GMT
If you thought the weather Tuesday really stunk, you weren't alone. Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers were too much for even a beaver. WCAX Producer Diane Landry caught video Tuesday in MiltonMore >>
Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers in our region Tuesday were too much for even a beaver.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:09:50 GMT
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont. SheldonMore >>
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont.More >>