YCQM: November 19, 2017

BURLINGTON (WCAX) GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, I'M DARREN PERRON.
RIGHT NOW ON YOU CAN QUOTE ME, A
QUADRUPLE MURDER THAT ROCKED THE
STATE.
A LOOK AT SENTENCING DAY FOR
JODY HERRING AND JUSTICE FOR
FOUR LIVES LOST IN CENTRAL
VERMONT.
LEAR FROM THE VICTIMS' FAMILIES,
AND HERRING HERSELF.
PLUS, VERMONT'S SPEAKER OF THE
HOUSE IS HERE TO TALK ABOUT A
DATA BREACH AFFECTING ABOUT A
THIRD OF VERMONTERS.
WHAT'S BEING DONE TO PROTECT
YOU?
ALSO, IS THIS THE YEAR FOR LEGAL
WEED IN VERMONT?
THE HOTTEST HOLIDAY TOYS, AND A
PREVIEW OF BLACK FRIDAY, AND
CYBER MONDAY.
WHAT CAN SHOPPERS EXPECT?
THAT'S ALSO COMING UP.
THAT'S WHERE WE BEGIN THIS
MORNING.
THE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST
APPROACHING, AND THAT MEANS IT'S
TIME TO START SHOPPING.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT.
WE WILL SEE THE TOYS KIDS ARE
ALREADY ASKING FOR.
>> THERE YOU GO.
>> OH, YES! SO FUN.
KIDS ARE FLIPPING OUT FOR THIS
YEAR'S HOTTEST HOLIDAY TOYS.
FROM A NEW-AGE DOLL.
TO A BLAST FROM THE PAST.
LORI SHACK GAVE US AN INSIDE
LOOK AT THE TOYS KIDS ARE
CLAMORING FOR.
LAST YEAR'S MUST-HAVE, THE
HATCHIMAL IS BACK WITH A NEW
TWIST.
>> MATCH -- HATCHIMAL SURPRISE.
>> COMES WITH NOT JUST ONE, BUT
TWO TOYS IN EACH EGG.
>> KIDS DON'T KNOW IF IT'S
IDENTICAL TWINS OR FRATERNAL
TWINS UNTIL IT HATCHES.
>> THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST
SOUGHT AFTER TOYS THIS YEAR.
>> SHE IS THE MOST INTERACTIVE
DOLL YOU WILL EVER, EVER SEE.
>> THE LIFE-LIKE DOLL HAS A
RANGE OF SOUNDS AND EXPRESSIONS.
>> OUT OF THE BOX SHE SPEAKS
BABBLE.
THE MORE YOU SPEAK TO HER, THE
MORE SHE LEARNS MORE WORDS.
>> THE BABY ALIVE DOLL ON MANY
KIDS' WISH LIST, TOO.
>> I DON'T FEEL GOOD.
>> YOU SEE THE TEARS COMING?
>> KIDS CAN PLAY CARE GIVER AND
NURTURE HER BACK TO SMILES AND
GIGGLES.
FOR OLDER KIDS, THERE'S THE R2D2
INVENTOR KIT.
THE DROID COMES IN PIECES AND
HAS TO BE PUT TOGETHER.
>> IT IS ALL IN THE WRIST
MOVEMENT.
>> AND THE DRONE ALLOWS YOU TO
FLY IT WITH A MOTION OF YOUR
HAND.
AH!
[ LAUGHTER ]
FOR ANIMAL LOVERS, TYLER THE
PLAYFUL TIGER HAS 100 SOUNDS AND
MOTION COMBINATIONS.
>> HE WILL FLY OFF THE SHELVES.
HE ABSOLUTELY WILL.
>> SHACK SAID IF ANY OF THESE
TOYS ARE ON YOUR LIST, FIND THEM
NOW.
BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING FAST.
NIKI BATISTE, CHANNEL 3 NEWS,
NEW YORK.
>> PARENTS, TAKE NOTE.
WHAT ELSE CAN HOLIDAY SHOPPERS
EXPECT?
I AM JOINED BY ERIN SIGRIS,
PRESIDENT OF THE VERMONT RETAIL
AND GROCERS ASSOCIATION.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING, DARREN.
>> Darren: WE HEARD A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT THE TOYS.
WHAT ELSE CAN SHOPPERS EXPECT?
BIG HOLIDAY ITEMS.
>> WELL, ELECTRONICS AS ALWAYS.
AND TECH ITEMS ALWAYS TOP OF
LIST.
SO WHETHER IT IS THE NEW iPHONE
X, OR, YOU KNOW, ACCESSORIES TO
GO ALONG WITH IT.
OF COURSE GIFT CARDS CONTINUE TO
INCREASE ON EVERYONE'S LIST AS
WELL.
>> Darren: A LOT OF STORES SEEM
TO BE MOVING AWAY FROM BLACK
FRIDAY AND SPREADING OUT THOSE
SALES OVER SEVERAL DAYS.
ARE WE EXPECTING THAT TREND TO
CONTINUE THIS HOLIDAY SHOPPING
SEASON?
>> I THINK YOU WILL CONTINUE TO
SEE EXPANDING THE SHOPPING
HOLIDAY SEASON.
YOU KNOW, WE HAVE TO TAKE INTO
CONSIDERATION, ESPECIALLY HERE
IN VERMONT, IT IS GETTING WARMER
LONGER AND LONGER.
SO RETAILERS ARE MOVING SALES
BECAUSE OF THOSE -- THE LONGER
SUMMER SEASON, OR FALL SEASON.
SO, YOU KNOW, THEY ARE CERTAINLY
STARTING TO MOVE THAT FOR LOST
SALES OVER THE SUMMER AND INTO
THE FALL.
SO WE WILL SEE MORE AND MORE
SALES AND MORE AND MORE
PROMOTIONS TO GET THEM -- TO GET
SHOPPERS BACK INTO STORES.
>> Darren: SO THEN IS BLACK
FRIDAY SORT OF A THING OF THE
PAST, OR IS IT STILL A HUGE
RETAIL BOOST?
>> YEAH, IT'S STILL HUGE ACROSS
AMERICA.
I THINK THE NUMBER I SAW MOST
RECENTLY WAS ABOUT 70% OF
AMERICANS WILL BE SHOPPING THIS
WEEKEND.
WHETHER IT'S THURSDAY,
THANKSGIVING THURSDAY, OR BLACK
FRIDAY, SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY,
WE WILL TALK ABOUT THAT, AND
CYBER MONDAY.
SHOPPERS WILL BE OUT.
KIN KIN LET'S START WITH SMALL
BUSINESS --
>> Darren: LET'S START WITH
SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY.
THIS IS A FOCUS ON LOCAL
BUSINESSES.
IS THIS A BIG BOOST FOR LOCAL
BUSINESSES, AND CAN SHOPPERS
REALLY GET A GOOD DEAL?
>> GOOD QUESTIONS.
YOU KNOW, SMALL BUSINESS
SATURDAY IS GROWING.
PAST SEVERAL YEARS YOU HAVE SEEN
IT INCREASE.
IT STILL PALES TO BLACK FRIDAY.
IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THESE SMALL
BUSINESSES IN THE STATE TO HAVE
BLACK FRIDAY EVENTS, OR TO HAVE
SHOPPERS IN THEIR STORES, AND I
BELIEVE THAT NATIONALLY, $14
BILLION SPENT ON FRIDAY LAST
YEAR, AND LAST SMALL BUSINESS
SATURDAY, IT WAS ONLY 6 BILLION.
SO IT STILL PALES WHEN WE ARE
TALKING ABOUT COMPARING IT TO
BLACK FRIDAY.
RETAILERS LOCALLY ARE THINKING
OUTSIDE OF THE BOX.
THEY ARE PROVIDING INTERACTIVE
EXPERIENCES, WHETHER IT'S CHEESE
AND WINE TASTINGS, OR LITTLE
EVENTS FOR THE KIDS TO BRING --
HAVE THE PARENTS BRING THEM TO
THE STORES, THEY ARE DOING
EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO BRING
SHOPPERS IN ON SATURDAY.
>> Darren: HOW CAN SHOPPERS GET
THE BEST DEALS?
>> THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION.
YOU KNOW, I THINK WE HAVE TO
TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT
ONLINE IS A BIG PLAYER WHEN IT
COMES TO SHOPPING.
I BELIEVE IT'S 83% OF SHOPPERS
WILL START THEIR SHOPPING
ONLINE.
DOESN'T MEAN THEY ARE ALL GOING
TO BUY ONLINE, BUT THEY START TO
DO THEIR RESEARCH.
WHERE AM I GOING TO GO, WHAT AM
I GOING TO DO.
RETAILERS NEED TO HAVE AN ONLINE
PRESENCE.
THEY NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY
ARE BEING CREATIVE, THEY HAVE TO
BE OUT IN FRONT OF CONSUMERS AS
MUCH AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN TO
BRING THEM BACK INTO THE STORES.
>> Darren: LET'S TALK A LITTLE
BIT MORE ABOUT CYBER MONDAY.
HOW BIG IS THIS NOW?
EVEN FOR VERMONT STORES, AND HOW
CAN THEY COMPETE WITH, LIKE, YOU
KNOW, ONLINE GIANTS LIKE AMAZON?
>> IT'S TOUGH.
IT IS AN ISSUE THAT WE IN THE
RETAIL COMMUNITY CONTINUE TO
FACE.
ONLINE SHOPPING IS DOUBLE DIGIT
RATES, GROWING EVERY YEAR.
AND A RESEARCH FIRM HAS REPORTED
FOR THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVER
SEEN THAT ONLINE -- THAT
CONSUMERS' BUDGETS, 51% OF THOSE
CONSUMERS' BUDGETS WILL GO TO
ONLINE SHOPPING.
SO THAT'S MORE THAN HALF OF THE
CONSUMER'S BUDGET WILL BE SPENT
ONLINE.
AND THAT'S RATHER DISAPPOINTING.
>> ERIN SIGRIS, THANK YOU SO
MUCH FOR JOINING ME.
APPRECIATE THAT.
TIME NOW TO HEAD TO THE NEWSROOM
TO SEE WHAT THE CHANNEL 3
WEEKEND TEAM IS UP TO.
SCOTT, WHAT'S GOING ON?
>> THANKS, DARREN.
COMING UP ON THE WEEKEND, WE ARE
TALKING TURKEY.
THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT
WAYS TO COOK A TURKEY ON
THANKSGIVING.
WE ASK YOU FOR YOUR FAVORITE
WAY.
AND A GREAT STORY IN ST. JOHN,
TWO REMARKABLE RETIREES HELPING
PREP AND SERVE MEALS TO THE
COMMUNITY FOR YEARS.
THIS WEEK THEY ARE GETTING READY
FOR THE CHURCH'S ANNUAL FREE
THANKSGIVING LUNCH.
THIS COMMUNITY IS CERTAINLY
THANKFUL FOR THAT.
ALL THAT, PLUS YOUR LATEST NEWS
HEADLINES, AND THE WORKWEEK
FORECAST COMING UP IN ABOUT 20
MINUTES.
>> Darren: THANK YOU.
STILL AHEAD, A MASSIVE DATA
BREACH AFFECTING 240,000
VERMONTERS.
WHAT WILL LAWMAKERS DO ABOUT IT?
I'LL ASK THE SPEAKER OF THE
HOUSE.
AND THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF
THE MURDERED DCF WORKER CONFRONT
HER KILLER.
HEAR WHAT WAS SAID IN COURT NEXT
ON CHANNEL 3'S "YOU CAN QUOTE
ME."
>> Darren: A QUADRUPLE MURDERER
SENTENCED TO LIFE HIND BARS.
THAT DECISION HANDED DOWN BY A
JUDGE IN CENTRAL VERMONT AFTER
POWERFUL TESTIMONY FROM THE
FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF ONE OF THE
FOUR PEOPLE SHE KILLED.
JODY HERRING GUNNED DOWN THREE
OF HER OWN FAMILY MEMBERS WHO
REPORTED HER TO DCF, AND THE
DCF WORKER WHO HELPED REMOVE
HERRING'S CHILD FROM HER HOME.
THIS MORNING, STATEMENTS FROM
THE VICTIM'S FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
AND JUST BEFORE SHE WAS
SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON,
JODY HERRING HAD A MESSAGE FOR
THEM, TOO.
>> I DIDN'T FEAR THE TRAUMA
CAUSED BY THE MURDER.
WORKED MUCH HARDER FOR THE
STAFF, AND -- LAURA SILVER WAS
SHOT AND MURDERED WHEN SHE WAS
LEAVING HER OFFICE FOR THE DAY.
THE IMPACT OF THIS HAS
REVERBERATED THROUGH THE
BARRE OFFICE ON MANY LEVELS:
PERSONAL, PROFESSIONAL,
OPERATIONAL AND THROUGHOUT THE
FIELD OF SOCIAL WORK.
EVEN NATIONALLY.
IN THE FIRST YEAR FOLLOWING THE
MURDER, HERE ARE JUST A FEW
THINGS THAT SHE WAS HOPING FOR.
ON SEPTEMBER 23RD, 2015, LAURA
CAME TO THE UNIVERSITY, IN
SEPTEMBER, 2017, OUR FAMILY
CELEBRATED JEWISH NEW YEAR.
SHE WASN'T THERE.
ON OCTOBER 9, 2009, WE
CELEBRATED A MARCH MITZVAH.
WE ALL GATHERED TOGETHER.
SHE WASN'T THERE.
ON NOVEMBER 2ND, 2015, MY FATHER
CELEBRATED HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY.
SHE WASN'T THERE.
ALL THESE SPECIAL MOMENTS IN OUR
FAMILY WITH HER CHILDREN, WITH
HER HUSBAND, WITH MY PARENTS,
WITH MY CHILDREN, WITH ME, AND
NO MORE BIRTHDAYS,
ANNIVERSARIES, HOLIDAYS RETURN
EACH YEAR, AND WITH THEM, EMPTY
REMINDER OF EVERYTHING WE NO
LONGER HAVE.
THERE ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE
THE SORROW, ANGUISH AND TRAUMA
THAT THOSE WHO WERE CLOSEST TO
LAURA FEEL EACH DAY.
HER CHILDREN, HER HUSBAND, HER
PARENTS, HER SISTER, AND HER
EXTENDED FAMILY AND FRIENDS, WHO
WERE BETTER BECAUSE SHE WAS
AMONG THEM.
LAURA WAS ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE
WHO WAS JUST PLAIN GOOD THROUGH
AND THROUGH.
AND PEOPLE WERE DRAWN TO HER.
SHE WAS EARNEST, SINCERE.
SHE WAS FAIR, SHE WAS
NON-JUDGMENTAL.
SHE WAS HONEST.
AND ABOVE ALL, SHE MADE PEOPLE
AROUND HER FEEL THEIR HUMANITY.
>> ON THAT DAY IN AUGUST WHEN MY
YOUNGEST DAUGHTER WAS ONLY
ATTENDER 11 YEARS -- A TENDER 11
YEARS OLD, SHE CALLED HER
MOMMY, "MOMMY, WHEN ARE YOU
GOING TO BE HOME?"
HAVING SPOKEN HER LAST WORDS TO
HER MOTHER, HER ANSWER WAS THE
NOISE OF MOMMY BEING SHOT DOWN,
NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE.
I HAVE NOT LOST A DAUGHTER.
SHE WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED,
STOLEN FROM ME AS PART OF AN ACT
OF UNPRECEDENTED EVIL.
FROM HER BIRTH THROUGH THE YEARS
AS SHE DEVELOPED INTO A
COMPETENT, CARING YOUNG WOMAN, I
WAS THERE FOR ALL THE
MILESTONES.
BIRTHDAYS, FAMILY FUNCTIONS,
GRADUATIONS, HER WEDDING, THE
BIRTH OF HER CHILDREN, AND THEN
I WAS THERE FOR HER FUNERAL.
>> YOU KNOW, I --
[CRYING ]
IT BOTHERS ME, YOU KNOW, TO
HEAR, WHAT I SEE THAT NIGHT -- I
NEVER WAS A MEAN PERSON IN MY
WHOLE LIFE.
(CRYING ]
THE LOSS OF A CHILD IS SO HARD
TO ENDURE.
(INDISCERNIBLE ]
AND BOTHERED ME TO LISTEN TO
EVERYBODY.
I KNOW HOW IT FEELS.
AND I AM VERY SORRY.
I CAN'T TAKE IT BACK, I WISH I
COULD, BUT I CAN'T.
(INDISCERNIBLE ]
SEVERAL TIMES.
COVERED IN BRUISES, WHY DIDN'T
SHE MANDATE THAT?
WHY DIDN'T SHE REPORT THAT?
I ASKED HER SEVERAL TIMES, AND I
DIDN'T GET IT.
I WISHED I HAD.
I WISHED IT NEVER HAPPENED.
AND I AM SORRY.
>> Darren: UP NEXT, WILL
LAWMAKERS GIVE THE GREEN LIGHT
TO LEGAL WEED, AND WHAT'S BEING
DONE TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR
WALLET WHEN IT COMES TO DATA
BREACHES.
THE HOUSE SPEAKER AND OUR
POLITICAL REPORTER JOIN ME NEXT.
>>> WERE YOU ONE OF THE MILLIONS
OF AMERICANS AFFECTED BY THE
EQUIFAX DATA BREACH?
CHANNEL 3'S BRING SELL A LIGUORI
REPORTS ON HOW VER MONTH --
VERMONT LEADERS ARE TRYING TO
KEEP PEOPLE'S SENSITIVE DATA
SAFE.
>> NO ONE WANTS THEIR PRIVATE
DATA STOLEN.
>> IT AFFECTS A LOT OF MY
RELATIVES, A LOT OF FRIENDS.
>> SO WHAT SHOULD THE STATE DO
TO PROTECT RESIDENTS FROM
HACKERS AND SECURITY BREACHES,
LEGISLATORS TURN TO RESIDENTS
FOR IDEAS TUESDAY.
>> THE STATE SHOULD ACT SWIFTLY
TO PROHIBIT CREDIT AGENCIES FROM
CHARGING FEES TO CONSUMERS WHO
ELECT TO ENACT A SECURITY FREEZE
ON THEIR CREDIT HISTORY.
>> THE CONVERSATION IN
BURLINGTON SPARKED BY THE
EQUIFAX BREACH A FEW MONTHS AGO.
145 MILLION AMERICANS, INCLUDING
240,000 VERMONTERS, WERE
AFFECTED.
VERMONT'S ATTORNEY GENERAL'S
OFFICE SAID THE BREACH PROMPTED
THE LARGEST NUMBER OF QUESTIONS
IN THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME THAT
IT HAD EVER RECEIVED.
ADRIANA SPECKMEYER TOOK PHONE
CALLS AT THE CONSUMER ASSISTANCE
PROGRAM.
>> I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS
HAPPENED, NO ONE TOLD US, IT
TOOK US THIS LONG FOR ANYONE TO
GIVE US INFORMATION, WHAT DO WE
DO NOW.
>> THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
SAID PEOPLE SHOULD BE TAKING THE
FOLLOWING STEPS TO PROTECT
THEMSELVES: PUT A SECURITY
FREEZE ON ALL CREDIT BUREAUS, AT
A FRAUD ALERT TO CREDIT FILES
AND REVIEW YOUR CREDIT CARD
STATEMENTS EVERY MONTH.
>> WE HAVE ONE OF THE STRICTEST
SECURITY BREACH NOTICE ACTS IN
THE COUNTRY.
WE HAVE ONE OF THE FIRST NOTICE
ACTS TO REQUIRE NOTICE DIRECTLY
TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL.
WE REQUIRE IT WITHIN 14 DAYS.
>> THE HOUSE COMMERCE AND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
SAID IT WANTS TO DO MORE.
REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM BATTART
SAID THEY HAVE ALREADY BEGUN
WORKING ON BILLS RELATED TO DATA
PRIVACY.
>> IT IS OUR DUTY FOR THE SAFETY
AND PROTECTION AND WELL BEING OF
VERMONTERS.
>> ON THE NATIONAL LEVEL,
SENATOR PATRICK LEAHY INTRODUCED
THE CONSUMER PRIVACY PROTECTION
ACT TUESDAY.
IT WOULD ADD REQUIREMENTS TO PRO
-- PREVENT BREACHES FROM
HAPPENING AND NOTIFY PEOPLE WHEN
THEY DO.
IN BURLINGTON, PRISCILLA
LIGUORI, CHANNEL 3 NEWS.
>> Darren: WHAT WILL LAWMAKERS
DO ABOUT THIS?
WHAT IS IN THESE BILLS?
I AM JOINED BY VERMONT HOUSE
SPEAKER MITZI JOHNSON.
GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: JOINING THE
CONVERSATION, CHANNEL 3'S
POLITICAL REPORTER NEAL GOSWAMI.
NEAL, GOOD MORNING TO YOU.
>> GOOD MORNING.
>> Darren: SPEAKER, SO WHAT IS
IN THIS BILL, OR ANY OF THESE
BILLS BEING PROPOSED?
>> AS YOU BOTH KNOW, THE VERMONT
LEGISLATURE IS A PART-TIME
CITIZEN LEGISLATURE, SO WE ARE
ONLY IN SESSION JANUARY THROUGH
EARLY MAY, AND SO THE HEARINGS
THAT YOU HAVE JUST SEEN A LITTLE
BIT ABOUT ARE OUR WAY OF REALLY
GETTING A JUMP ON THE WORK AHEAD
OF US, BECAUSE WE COULDN'T TAKE
IMMEDIATE ACTION.
SO WE WANTED TO GET SOME WORK
DONE FIRST TO HIT THE GROUND
RUNNING IN JANUARY.
I THINK AS AT A BARE MINIMUM YOU
WILL SEE LEGISLATION THAT IS
WHAT PEOPLE CALLED FOR THERE,
SAYING WE SHOULDN'T NEED TO PAY
$10 TO EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THE
FOUR CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES
FOR EVERY MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY
WITH A CREDIT REPORT EVERY TIME
YOU WANT TO FREEZE OR UNFREEZE
YOUR CREDIT.
THAT WOULD BE A BARE MINIMUM
KIND OF THING.
WE ALSO ARE LOOKING AT A BROADER
RANGE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION
BILLS, LOOKING AT POTENTIAL
RETRO ACTIVITY, WHICH I KNOW IS
A VERY BIG STEP, IT'S NOT
SOMETHING THAT WE NORMALLY
CONSIDER FAIR, CHANGING THE
RULES LATER.
BUT I THINK IN THIS CASE I HAVE
ASKED LAWYERS TO LOOK INTO THE
LEGALITIES OF THAT $10 CHARGE,
AND POTENTIALLY MAKING A FREE
FREEZE, A NO-CHARGE FREEZE, OR
UNFREEZE OF YOUR CREDIT REPORT
RETROACTIVE TO THE SECURITY
BEACH -- BREACH.
BECAUSE PEOPLE ONLY JUST NOW
BEGAN TO REALIZE THAT THEY DON'T
OWN THEIR OWN DATA.
AND THAT EQUIFAX TRANSFERS TO
OUR CREDIT AGENCIES, REPORTING
AGENCIES, DON'T CONSIDER US
THEIR CUSTOMERS.
IT IS OUR DATA.
WE SHOULD HAVE A LITTLE MORE
CONTROL OVER IT.
>> Darren: THESE ARE NATIONAL
CORPORATIONS, AND IN MANY PLACES
MULTI-NATIONAL CORPORATIONS.
REALISTICALLY, HOW MUCH CAN
STATE LAWMAKERS DO TO PROTECT
DATA, AND HOW MUCH SHOULD WE
LOOK TO CONGRESS TO DO THAT?
>> I WOULD BE VERY PLEASED IF
CONGRESS TOOK A LITTLE MORE
ACTION PROTECTING PEOPLE'S DATA,
PROTECTING PRIVACY RIGHTS, AND
REMEMBERING THAT THE PEOPLE THAT
HIRE CONGRESS ARE NOT THE
CORPORATIONS, BUT THE CITIZENS.
BUT WE ARE NOT SEEING THAT KIND
OF BEHAVIOR FROM CONGRESS RIGHT
NOW.
WE ARE NOT SEEING THAT KIND OF
ACTION FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION.
SO IF CONGRESS ISN'T GOING TO DO
IT, IT IS REALLY UP TO STATES TO
DO.
AND I THINK THERE IS QUITE A
BROAD RANGE OF CONSUMER
PROTECTION ACTION THAT WE CAN
TAKE.
AND VERMONT IS ON THE FOREFRONT
OF SOLVE THOSE CONSUMER PRO---
SOME OF THOSE CONSUMER
PROTECTION ACTIVITIES.
WE ARE WORKING WITH A NUMBER OF
OTHER STATES AS WELL TO SEE WHAT
OTHER OPTIONS ARE.
WHAT'S BEEN DONE IN OTHER STATES
AND WHERE WE CAN UNIFY
OURSELVES.
>> Darren: WHERE DOES THIS RANK
IN TERMS OF PRIORITIES FOR
LAWMAKERS?
>> AS WE'VE SEEN THE HOUSE
COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE HAVE DONE
FOUR HEARINGS STATEWIDE, AND THE
CHAIR, AND OTHERS ARE WORKING ON
THINGS.
A NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF BOTH
HOUSE AND SENATE ARE SUBMITTING
DRAFT LEGISLATION RIGHT NOW SO
THAT WE CAN HIT THE GROUND
RUNNING IN JANUARY.
REALLY IS THE FIRST PRIORITY TO
GET ROLLING ON THAT.
>> Darren: LET'S MOVE ON TO
RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA.
WILL LAWMAKERS PASS THAT THIS
YEAR, DO YOU THINK THAT THIS IS
THE YEAR FOR IT?
>> AND IF SO, HOW QUICKLY?
>> SO, YOU MAY REMEMBER THE
HOUSE AND SENATE EACH PASSED A
BILL LAST YEAR, THE GOVERNOR
VETOED, WE WENT BACK INTO
NEGOTIATION, AND REACHED AN
AGREEMENT WITH THE GOVERNOR AND
THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE.
THE SENATE, EXCUSE ME, HAS
PASSED THAT COMPROMISE PIECE OF
LEGISLATION, AND BECAUSE OF A
PROCEDURE TIMING ISSUE, IT IS
BACK IN FRONT OF THE HOUSE.
IT'S ON WHAT WE CALL A NOTICE
CALENDAR.
SO THE SECOND THAT WE ARE BACK
IN JANUARY, SOMETHING WILL BE UP
FOR ACTION.
NOW, THERE IS, AS YOU MAY BE
AWARE OF, THERE IS A COMMISSION
WHERE VERMONTERS AND LAW
ENFORCEMENT, STATES ATTORNEYS,
MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION,
AND LEGISLATORS HAVE BEEN
PARTICIPATING IN A CONVERSATION
ABOUT HOW BEST TO PROCEED,
KNOWING THAT RECREATIONAL, LEGAL
MARIJUANA IS COMING TO STATES,
YOU KNOW, AT OUR BORDER, WITHIN
EASY DRIVE, AND TO LOOK AT HOW
BEST TO DEAL WITH THAT.
PARTICULARLY IN AREAS OF YOUTH
PREVENTION, AND ROAD SAFETY, TWO
OF THE BIG PIECES.
SO THOSE ARE DRAFT REPORTS OF
THAT COMMISSION THROUGH
MID-DECEMBER, AND THE FINAL
REPORT DUE MID-JANUARY.
SO YOU WILL SEE SOME ACTION
EARLY ON IN THE SESSION.
>> Darren: YOU BROUGHT UP TWO
THINGS THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS
BEEN PARTICULARLY CONCERNED
ABOUT WHEN IT COMES TO LEGAL
WEED IN THE STATE, AND THAT IS
ENFORCING IT ON THE ROADS, AND
ACCESS BY KIDS.
WILL THESE BILLS ADDRESS THOSE
TWO ISSUES AND HOW?
>> SO WE ARE LOOKING INTO THE
BEST WAYS TO DO THAT.
AS PEOPLE KNOW, THOSE ISSUES
EXIST NOW.
YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT SOMETHING
THAT IS BRAND NEW TO THE STATE,
THAT WE ARE NOT UNAWARE OF.
THERE'S SOMETHING CALLED THE
YOUTH MISBEHAVIOR SURVEY.
AND THAT IS SHOWING THAT THERE
ARE MORE YOUNG PEOPLE USING
MARIJUANA THAN TOBACCO.
WE HAVE A NUMBER OF ROAD SAFETY
ISSUES THAT NEEDS TO BE FOCUSED
ON JUST ALCOHOL AND DRUNK
DRIVING, BUT NOW WITH SO MANY
OTHER MIND-ALTERING DRUGS AT OUR
-- IN OUR STATE, WE HAVE A
SERIOUS PROBLEM WITH DRUGGED
DRIVING.
SO WE ARE LOOKING INTO WAYS,
THINGS LIKE, WE HAVE
TREMENDOUSLY EXPANDED THE NUMBER
OF DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERTS,
PEOPLE THAT CAN SEE THE EFFECTS
OF IMPAIRMENT.
ONE OF THE CHALLENGES WITH
MARIJUANA, THE BODY PROCESSES IT
VERY DIFFERENTLY THAN ALCOHOL OR
HEROIN OR OPIATES, SO YOU CAN
STILL HAVE SOME IN YOUR SYSTEM
EVEN IF YOU ARE IN LONG -- NO
LONGER IMPAIRED.
SO FINDING THAT TEST IS
DIFFICULT, SO WE HAVE EXPANDED
THE NUMBER OF DRUG RECOGNITION
EXPERTS.
WE'LL HAVE MORE CONVERSATIONS
ABOUT WHAT OPEN CONTAINER LAWS
MEAN WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS
LIKE MARIJUANA OR OTHER DRUGS,
WE WILL SEE SOME TIGHTENING UP
OF THAT.
>> Darren: SPEAKING OF THE
GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION, THEY
RELEASED SOME REPORT IN JANUARY.
AS YOU MENTIONED IN THE VET OWE
SESSION IN JUNE THERE WAS A DEAL
STRUCK BETWEEN LAWMAKERS AND THE
GOVERNOR.
DO YOU EXPECT THAT YOU WILL MOVE
VERY QUICKLY, IT REMAINS ON THE
CALENDAR IN JANUARY, OR DOES THE
REPORT MAYBE COMPLICATE THINGS A
LITTLE BIT AND STRETCH THIS OUT
FURTHER?
>> UM, I THINK I WANT TO SEE --
I AM TALKING WITH THE TWO HOUSE
MEMBERS THAT ARE CURRENTLY ON
THE COMMISSION, THEY ARE DOING
REALLY GOOD WORK DIVING INTO
SOME OF THOSE ISSUES.
WE ARE GOING TO LOOK AT THE
DRAFT REPORT, AND SEE IF THERE'S
SOMETHING AS FAR AS SPECIFIC
SUGGESTIONS THERE.
SOME OF THEM MAY INVOLVE MONEY
INSTEAD, SO IT MAY BE -- WE MAY
NEED TO DRILL WITH THAT AS PART
OF THE BUDGET.
YOU WILL SEE SOME EARLY ACTION
ON THIS.
>> Darren: YOU BELIEVE THE HOUSE
WILL MOVE THIS IN EARLY JANUARY?
>> I THINK, YOU KNOW, EARLY
ACTION.
I NEED TO SEE WHAT THAT REPORT
IS.
I WANT TO REALLY RESPECT THE
PROCESS, AND RESPECT ALL THE
VERMONTERS THAT PUT THEIR TIME
INTO THIS COMMISSION, AND I WANT
TO COMPLETE -- I DON'T WANT TO
COMPLETELY DISREGARD THAT.
IT NEEDS A REALLY -- THESE ARE
IMPORTANT, WEIGHTY QUESTIONS.
WE WILL BE ACTING EARLY ON IN
THE SESSION.
>> SPEAKER, MANY DEMOCRATS,
RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE AND
PAID FAMILY LEAVE TIME ARE
PRIORITIES.
ARE WE GOING TO GET THOSE PASSED
THIS YEAR THAT THE GOVERNOR WILL
SCENE?
>> SO THE HOUSE HAS PASSED A
BILL ON PAID FAMILY LEAVE THAT
IS AN INSURANCE PROGRAM,
ESSENTIALLY, WHERE A SMALL
AMOUNT IS PAID SO THAT WELCOMING
A NEW BABY, A NEW CHILD INTO
YOUR LIFE, AND TAKING CARE OF A
SICK LOVED ONE, AGING PARENTS,
AND AN ILL SPOUSE, THAT THERE IS
A LITTLE BIT OF FLEXIBILITY
THERE.
WITH MORE AND MORE VERMONTERS
LIVING IN SUCH NARROW MARGINS IN
THEIR LIVES, IN LOWER PAID JOBS,
IN JOBS WITHOUT BENEFITS,
WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE,
WITHOUT PAID TIME OFF, IT'S A
KIND OF WORK SITUATION THAT
REALLY MAKES PEOPLE VERY WELL
AWARE OF HOW FRAGILE THE
ECONOMIC SITUATION IS.
SO WE ARE TRYING TO CREATE A
LITTLE MORE OF A LEVEL PLAYING
FIELD WITH THAT.
RIGHT NOW THAT'S SITTING IN THE
SENATE.
SO WE WILL LOOK FOR THE SENATE
TO BE HAVING DISCUSSIONS ON THAT
COME JANUARY.
WE HAVE SOME LEGISLATIVE WORKING
OVER THE SUMMER AND FALL, THE
REPORT IS DUE OUT VERY SHORTLY,
I THINK THE DRAFT REPORT IS JUST
BEING CIRCULATED NOW ON MINIMUM
WAGE, AND BENEFITS ISSUES.
SO WE ARE LOOKING AT HOW AN
INCREASED MINIMUM WAGE COULD
POTENTIALLY HELP THOSE 25,000 OR
SO VERMONTERS THAT ARE AT THAT
BARE MINIMUM.
WHAT WE ARE SEEING RIGHT NOW IS
THIS SUBSTANTIAL DIFFERENTIAL
BETWEEN OLDER VERMONT, AND RURAL
VERMONT.
AND THE CHART WE HAVE BEEN
LOOKING AT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS
HAS SHOWN SINCE THE RECESSION,
THE COUNTY AREA HAD FELT THE
RECESSION LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE,
AND THEN GOT BACK ON THEIR FEET,
AND SURPASSED THE ECONOMIC
ACTIVITY, WAGES AND GROWTH OF
WHERE THEY WERE PRIOR TO THE
RECESSION, RURAL VERMONT HAS
JUST BARELY GOTTEN BACK TO
2007-8 LEVELS.
SO IT IS INCREDIBLY CONCERNING
TO SEE SUCH A LARGE AND VERY
IMPORTANT PART OF OUR STATE IS
BEING LEFT BEHIND.
SO WE ARE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO
LEVEL THAT PLAYING FIELD, AND
MAKE SURE THAT ALL VERMONTERS
HAVE A CHANCE TO GET AHEAD.
ONE OF THE BIG ISSUES THAT WE
ARE STRUGGLING WITH IS THIS
ISSUE OF THE BENEFITS CLIP.
THAT WAS THE OTHER PIECE OF THIS
SUMMER STUDY COMMITTEE.
IF YOU ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH
THAT, IF YOU ARE OF VERY LOW
INCOME, YOU MAY HAVE ASSISTANCE,
FOOD ASSISTANCE, POSSIBLY
HEATING ASSISTANCE, CHILD CARE
ASSISTANCE, AND THEN IF -- ONCE
YOU GET TO A CERTAIN POINT, THE
NUMBERS VARY DEPENDING ON THE
SIZE OF YOUR HOUSEHOLD, BUT IT
IS AROUND, FULL-TIME JOB, AROUND
12.50 AN HOUR.
IF YOU MAKE JUST A LITTLE BIT
MORE THAN THAT, WHAT YOU GAIN IN
INCREASED WAGES IS ACTUALLY A
LOT LESS THAN WHAT YOU LOSE IN
BENEFITS.
IT'S A BAD ECONOMIC DECISION TO
MOVE FORWARD.
>> SPEAKER, THANK YOU SO MUCH.
NEAL, THANK YOU.
AND THANK YOU FOR WATCHING.
THAT WILL DO IT FOR "YOU CAN
QUOTE ME."
CHANNEL 3 NEWS CONTINUES NEXT.
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