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YCQM: December 16, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: December 16, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>> GOOD MORNING EVERYONE, TODAY WE GET THE REPUBLICAN'S TAKE ON THE UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

>> WE SPOKE WITH DEMOCRAT SHAP SMITH, THE HOUSE SPEAKER, LAST SUNDAY. COUNTER MORNING, OUR NEWSMAKER IS REPUBLICAN MINORITY LEADER DON TURNER.

>> MR. TURNER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING WITH US.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR HAVING ME, I LOOK FORWARD TO THIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK WITH YOU.

>> LET'S GET RIGHT TO IT. AFTER THE ELECTION, REPUBLICANS, THERE WERE 48 IN THE HOUSE, WHICH WAS VERY SMALL NUMBERS, TO 45, YOU LOST A FEW SEATS. HOW DO YOU HAVE ANY SORT OF RELEVANCE WITH THE NUMBERS THAT ARE SO DIMINISHED, YOU HAVE ONE REPUBLICAN STATEWIDE IN OFFICE?

>> I THINK THE ANSWER IS FOR THE CAUCUS TO BECOME MORE COHESIVE WE HAVE TO WORK AS A TEAM AND BUILDING ALLIANCES OUTSIDE THE TEAM, WITH SOME OF THE INDEPENDENTS, AND WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON BRINGING THE TEAM TOGETHER, WORKING AGO A UNIT, REACHING OUT TO THE PROGRESSIVES AND INDEPENDENTS, BUT A LOT OF IT IS GOING TO FALL BACK ON THE PRESS. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO COME TO YOU, IT'S GOING TO TAKE A TEAM EVIDENT AND BE MORE THAN JUST US PARTICIPATING.

>> HOW TOUGH WAS THE ELECTION?

>> VERY TOUGH. WE WORKED EXTREMELY HARD. WE PUT TOGETHER A CAUCUS AND COORDINATED THE RACES THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE STATE, WE MET FROM THE DAY THE SESSIONS ENDED, EVERY TUESDAY, MY LEADERSHIP TEAM MET, SO IT WAS DISAPPOINTING TO RETHE -- TO SEE THE RESULTS COME N WE WERE UP THREE SEATS, AND IT WENT TO PIECES AFTER THAT. IT WAS VERY DISHEARTENING, BUT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WORK HARDER. THE WAY I LOOK AT IT, I LOOK BACK AT THE ELECTION AND FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHAT WE DID, WE RAISED MONEY IN THE CAUCUS TO USE FOR ADVERTISING AND CAMPAIGNING, WE SAVED -- WE HAD SIX OR SEVEN PEOPLE RETIRING, WE SAVED MOST OF THOSE SEATS. THE PLACES WE LOST WE WERE SHOCKED. WE LOST SOME THAT WE DIDN'T SEE IT, BUT WE DID VERY WELL WHERE WE WERE FOCUSED AND TARGETING BUT THERE'S A LOT TO BE LEARNED FROM AN ELECTION AND I LOOK BACK, IN THE NEGATIVE, I WANT TO TAKE THAT EXPERIENCE AND STUFF WE'VE LEARNED FROM THAT ELECTION AND MOVE FORWARD. WE HAVE TO DO A BETTER JOB. THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

>> WHAT WENT WRONG, AND WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED FROM ELECTION NIGHT?

>> WE I GUESS UNDERSTAND THE OPPONENT MORE NOW. I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT THE DEMOCRATIC -- THAT THE DEMOCRATS HAD 17 PEOPLE WORKING FOR HIM, DEDICATED STAFF. I WAS DUMBFOUNDED WHEN I HEARD THAT FROM A REPORTER TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE CAMPAIGN, SO I THOUGHT WE WERE ON THE SAME GROUND AS FAR AS WE WERE ALL WORKING TO GET OUR CANDIDATE ELECTED. WHAT WE NEED TO DO, THOUGH, WE DIDN'T IMPROVE EARLY ENOUGH. WE NEED TO START RECRUITING TODAY FOR THE 2014 ELECTION. I DON'T MEAN KNOCKING ON DOORS AND GOING TO EVERY HOUSE, I MEAN GOING INTO THE COMMUNITIES AND FIGURING OUT WHO IN THE COMMUNITY CAN GET ELECTED. SOMEBODY IN THE COMMUNITIES, SERVING TIME IN THE COMMUNITY AND THINKS LIKE WE DO, FISCAL CONSERVE ADVERTISE, THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES, IT DOESN'T TAKE WAITING UNTIL THE SESSION ENDS AND THEN SCRAMBLING TO FIND ANYBODY THAT PUTS THEIR HAND ON A BALLOT AND WORKING THEIR BUTT OFF TO GET THEIR NAME OUT THERE AND ADVERTISE. IT'S MORE OF A -- IT'S A LONG TERM PROCESS AND THAT'S WHAT WE HAVE TO DO.

>> IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ON LIFE SUPPORT?

>> I DON'T BELIEVE THAT KRISTEN. I'M CONCERNED. I TELL YOU, I'VE LEARNED A LOT WHEN I WAS TRAVELING FOR THE HRERBGS EVERYWHERE I WENT I WAS THE ONLY GUY IN THE HIM ROOM, SO TO ME IT WAS -- I REALIZED THAT WE HAVE TO APPEAL TO MUCH YOUNGER PEOPLE MAN WE HAVE IN THE PAST. I THINK IT MEANS CHOOSING YOUR ACTION. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT BUT YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING IN THAT AGE GROUP AND OFFERING THAT SO THEY DO BELIEVE YOU ARE REPRESENTING THEM. SO WE NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB AT THAT. TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, I DON'T THINK WE'RE ON LIFE SUPPORT. I THINK WE DO NEED NEW BLOOD, NEW LEADERSHIP, A NEW VISION. YOU KNOW, STANDING ON FISCAL PRINCIPLES, SMALL GOVERNMENT, I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT STILL RESONATES WITH, BUT WE DEFINITELY HAVE TO FIND THE ISSUES THAT RESONATES WITH THE YOUNGER VOTER.

>> I KNOW YOU PROBABLY LOOK AROUND, YOU LOOK AROUND IN YOUR CAUCUS, YOU LOOK AT YOUNGER PEOPLE FOR SURE. THE ONE ELECTED OFFICER, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, PHIL SCOTT, HE WAS UP AGAINST SOMEONE WHO HAD ANOTHER NAME RECOGNITION, AND WON STATEWIDE, SO WHAT IS THE STRATEGY MOVING FORWARD, OR IS VERMONT JUST A DEMOCRATIC STATE, AND IT'S REALLY TOUGH?

>> I BELIEVE IF YOU HAVE AN R NEXT TO YOUR NAME, IT'S REALLY TOUGH, YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THERE ARE PLACES, WHERE THE RIGHT CANDIDATE IN THE COMMUNITY COULD I THINK WIN. IF YOU TAKE A COMMUNITY THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DEMOCRAT, AND A CANDIDATE WHO'S BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY AND DOES THEIR TERM, I THINK THEY CAN WIN, BUT THE PARTY AS A WHOLE HAS TO LOOK AT SOMETHING DIFFERENT. PEOPLE REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND WE NEED YOUNG PEOPLE. PEOPLE ARE MOVING OUT OF VERMONT. WE DON'T -- WE HAVEN'T RESONATED VERY WELL WITH COLLEGE-AGE VOTERS, EVEN PEOPLE IN THE EARLY 20S, 30S, WE HAVEN'T DONE A VERY GOOD JOB, SO I'M GOING TO LISTEN A LOT CLOSER TO THOSE PEOPLE AND WHAT THEY WANT ME TO SUPPORT IN MONTPELIER. WITH THAT SAID I DON'T WANT TO FORGET MY BASE. IN MILTON, WE'RE A CONSERVATIVE COMMUNITY, I REPRESENT THOSE PEOPLE FIRST AND FOREMOST, SO I LISTEN TO THEM, BUT THE CAUCUS AND GOP HAS TO START LISTENING TO WHAT YOUNGER PEOPLE WANT. THEY NEED JOBS. THEY WANT EDUCATION. AND SO ON. SO WE'VE GOT TO -- INSTEAD OF SAYING WE CAN'T SPEND ANYMORE ON EDUCATION, WE'VE GOT TO SAY WELL, LET'S SPEND THE SAME BUT GIVE YOU MORE FOR YOUR MONEY, A DIFFERENT APPROACH AND SAY MAYBE WE CAN LOOK AT COLLEGE AS PART OF THAT. THE GOVERNOR STARTED IT, WE NEED TO TAKE THAT FURTHER DURING ENROLLMENT. EVERYONE HAS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE CLASSES AT CASTLETON, OR WHATEVER. BUT INSTEAD OF SAYING WE'RE SPENDING TOO MUCH, LET'S SPEND THE SAME AND GET MORE FOR OUR MONEY, WHICH WOULD RESONATE WITH VERMONT, VERMONTERS AND MAYBE KEEP THEM IN VERMONT.

>> YOU HAD MENTIONED WORKING WITH FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE I'LL. -- OF THE AISLE. DO YOU IDENTIFY WHICH LAWMAKERS MIGHT BE MORE EASILY SWAYED TO YOUR SIDE, EITHER DEMOCRATS, INDEPENDENTS, OR PROGRESSIVES?

>> I THINK IT DEPENDS ON THE ISSUE. USUALLY, EVERY MEMBER OF THE LEGISLATURE IS A NICE PERSON. THEY ARE MY COLLEAGUES, WE GET ALONG, SOMETIMES BETTER WITH SOME THAN OTHERS, ABOUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE'RE LOOKING AT WHAT'S BEST FOR VERMONT AND VERMONTERS. THERE ARE TICK ISSUES I FIND THAT CERTAIN MEMBERS MAY FEEL MORE STRONGLY ABOUT THAN OTHERS. SO WHAT I TRY TO DO IS THINK OKAY, THIS ISSUE RESONATED MORE WITH THE PROGRESSIVES, MAYBE I'LL SEE REPRESENTATIVE PEARSON AND SEE WHAT HE THINKS. BUT I KNOW THERE'S A CORE GROUP OF THEM THAT ARE NOT AS LIBERAL AS SOME OF THE MEMBERS, AND THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHEN IT COMES TO THE FINANCIAL ISSUES THAT I GO TO FIRST AND SAY HEY, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS, IS THERE SOMETHING WE CAN DO ON THIS. SO I DON'T THINK THERE'S A DESIGNATED CERTAIN NUMBER LIKE THE BLUE DOGS AND -- IN THE OLD DAYS. THIS IS WHAT I MEAN, WHERE I'VE HEARD STORIES ABOUT. I DON'T THINK IT'S THAT TYPE OF SITUATION. I THINK IT'S ISSUE-RELATED AND THAT'S HOW WE GO ABOUT GETTING ALLIANCES.

>> ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT'S COME UP THIS WEEK IS THAT A GROUP HAS GONE DOWN TO FLORIDA, THE GOVERNOR HAS TAKEN A FEW PEOPLE DOWN TO SORT OF HEAR WHAT THE F35 FIGHTER JETS SOUND LIKE. DO YOU SUPPORT THEM COMING TO THE BASE?

>> I STRONGLY SUPPORT THEM COMING TO THE GUARD BASE. THIS STATE IS ALREADY LOSING PEOPLE FASTER THAN WE CAN DEAL WITH, ESPECIALLY WORKING PEOPLE. PEOPLE USING DOLLARS TO INVEST IN STATE REVENUE AND SO ON. THAT GUARD BASE IS 1100 PLUS JOBS, AS I UNDERSTAND. IT'S A VERY IMPORTANT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOL TO THIS REGION. AND I THINK WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT. I WAS MEETING WITH ONE OF THE WITHIN CANDIDATES FOR THE POSITION AND HE SAID IT'S 24 A WEEK, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS NOISE. SO IT MAY NOT BE THE MOST POPULAR TO SOME PEOPLE BUT WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE. I STRONGLY SUPPORT THE F35, AS WELL AS MANY PEOPLE IN OUR CAUCUS, AND THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION. YOU'VE MENTIONED A COUPLE OF TIMES NOW THE IDEA OF YOUNG PEOPLE LEAVING THE STATE, SO- CALLED GRAYING OF THE GREEN MOUNTAINS. IS IT THE LEGISLATURE'S RESPONSIBILITY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO STEM THIS TIDE?

>> I THINK WE ABSOLUTELY HAVE SOME RESPONSIBILITY THERE. DO WE HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS, NO. BUT I THINK WE HAVE TO TAKE TIME AND LOOK AT THAT. WHAT IS THE YOUNGER MAIN ISSUE, IS IT TOO EXPENSIVE TO LIVE, THEY CAN'T AFFORD TO LIVE HERE, THEY CAN'T FIND JOBS FOR PEOPLE OF THAT AGE TO STAY THERE, WHAT IS IT. WE HEAR ABOUT IT AND THERE ARE A LOT OF IDEAS BUT IS THERE ANY TRUTH TO ANY OF THOSE BUT WE AS THE LEGISLATURE OWE IT TO VERMONT AND VERMONTERS TO FIND OUT WHAT'S HAPPENING AND KEEP OUR KIDS HERE. IT MAY START AT THE EDUCATION LEVEL AND BUILD FROM THERE. THE SECOND PIECE OF THAT IS WE HAVE NOT DONE A VERY GOOD JOB IN MY MIND OF KEEPING BUSINESSES COMPETITIVE WITH OTHER STATES. YOU TAKE FOR BUSINESSES TO COME TO VERMONT, IF THEY CAN HAVE X DOLLARS MORE THAN ANOTHER STATE, THAT IS AN ISSUE WE CAN'T IGNORE. WE TALKED ABOUT SALES TAXES ON SERVICES. IN MY OPINION, PEOPLE I TALKED TO, THAT WOULD KILL THE ECONOMY, ESPECIALLY THAT WITH THE CONNECTICUT RIVER CORRIDOR WHERE THEY'RE ALREADY COMPETING WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE AND ALL OF THAT, BUT IT GOES FAR BEYOND THAT. WE HAVE PROJECTS AT UVM HERE THAT PEOPLE FROM UVM ARE DOING THE DRYWALL WORK, MASONRY. ALL THE TRADES WORK IS BEING DONE FROM OUT OF STATE. WHY IS IT? WE'RE NOT COMPETITIVE IN WORKERS COMP, WE'RE NOT COMPETITIVE ON TAX RATES. THESE SMALL BUSINESSES CAN'T AFFORD TO COMPETE. WE'RE REALLY DOING A DISSERVICE TO THOSE PEOPLE AND VERMONTERS AS A WHOLE.

>> THE GOVERNOR CAME OUT WITH A LIST OF BILLS HE SAID WILL PASS, THERE WHEN ARE ONES THAT ARE CONTROVERSIAL. LET'S WORK THROUGH THEM ONE BY ONE. LET'S TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE OF MARIJUANA.

>> I WAS SURPRISED TO SEE THE GOVERNOR PUT THOSE OUT THERE BECAUSE THAT IS PROBABLY THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL OF THE THINGS WE HAVE TO DO. BUT WHEN YOU ASKED THE QUESTION ABOUT MARIJUANA, I KNOW THERE ARE YOUNGER PEOPLE, AND WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS SINCE WE STARTED, WE NEED TO GET YOUNGER PEOPLE AND RESONATE WITH THE YOUNGER PEOPLE. I'M GOING TO LOOK AT THIS OPENLY. I'VE GOT SOME FRIENDS THAT ARE POLICE OFFICERS, SAID HEY, HOW DO WE DEAL WITH THIS INSTEAD OF JUST SAYING NO, INSTEAD OF SAYING WE'RE NOT GOING TO SUPPORT IT, HOW DO YOU DO IT. ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE COME UP WITH AND I'VE SAID THIS TO MY CAUCUS, IF WE SUPPORTED IT WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE SUBSTANTIAL TAX REVENUE, THAT IT DOESN'T GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL -- APRIL, IS IT? IT'S ONLY FOR USE IN YOUR OWN HOME AND YOU HAVE TO BE 21 YEARS OLD, MAYBE THERE'S SOME MOVEMENT THERE. THAT'S A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT WAY OF LOOKING AT IT THAN WE MIGHT HAVE IN THE PAST WHERE WE WOULD HAVE SAID NO, NO, NO. IT'S MAYBE. YOU KNOW? AND WE'VE GOT TO HAVE THESE TYPES OF THINGS, AT LEAST SOME BENEFIT TO THE STATE, AND SO ON. SO WE DON'T HAVE A CAUCUS POSITION ON THAT, BUT WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE OTHER THINGS I JUST TALKED ABOUT, BUT FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, WE NEED TO LOOK AT IT IN A MANNER THAT MAYBE IT'S ALLOWED, BUT WITH SOME CONDITIONS.

>> YOU HAVE A POSITION SIMILAR DIFFERENT FROM SHAP SMITH.

>> WHAT IS THE POSITION OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TO WORK WITH THE DEMOCRATS, BECAUSE WITH THEIR NUMBERS THEY DON'T NEED TO WORK WITH YOU.

>> THEY ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED TO WORK WITH US, THERE'S NO QUESTION. IN REALITY THE 45 OF US COULD STAY HOME EVERY DAY AND THAT PLACE WILL STILL OPERATE. OUR VERMONTERS WILL ONLY BE HAPPY AT THE END OF THE SESSION? THAT WILL BE THE QUESTION. WE CAN VOTE NO, YES, WHATEVER, BUT WE ARE GOING TO GO THERE AND WE'RE GOING TO REPRESENT OUR CONSTITUENTS AND OUR POSITIONS AND MY BELIEFS AND THEIR BELIEFS AND WE'RE GOING TO DO THAT IN A MANNER SO THAT VERDICTSERS KNOW THERE'S 11 -- MORE THAN ONE SIDE. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S GOING TO GO WHATEVER WAY THEY WANT. BUT THERE MAY BE CASES WHERE THE LEGISLATURE NEEDS MY MEMBERS TO VOTE A CERTAIN WAY, AND THERE ARE OTHER DAYS YOU WON'T. SO IT'S MY JOB TO MAKE SURE MY CAUCUS IS INFORMED ON EVERY ISSUE AND THAT WE KNOW WHERE WE'RE GOING TO BE MOVING FORWARD SO I CAN TELL ABOUT THAT INFORMATION AND SAY IF YOU DO THIS, THIS, THIS, WE'RE OPEN TO THAT, AND THE CAULK SUS OPEN TO THAT.

>> DO YOU FORESEE A SCENARIO WHERE THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER OF THE HOUSE, OR THE LEADER OF THE HOUSE, WILL NEED THE REPUBLICAN VOTES, BECAUSE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT HOW THE REPUBLICAN PARTY NEEDS TO REDEFINE ITSELF BUT RELATE TO THE OTHER SIDE, ON SOME OTHER ISSUES.

>> I'M NOT MOVING TOWARD THE DEMOCRATIC POSITION. WE'RE MOVING TOWARD A POSITION OF COMPROMISE. YOU KNOW, I AM NOT SUPPORTIVE OF THE LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA. BUT IF THERE WAS A WAY THAT WAS GOING TO BENEFIT THE STATE AND THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS MET, WE CAN COME TO A COMPROMISE. I DON'T -- I'M JUST SAYING I DON'T LIKE IT, BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING AND DO SOMETHING THAT'S BEST FOR VERMONT AND REVENUE, TAX REVENUE, SO ON, IS AN ISSUE.

>> WE'LL TAKE A BRIEF BREAK AND CONTINUE OUR INTERVIEW WIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWIWI

>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE. WE ARE GETTING A PREVIEW OF THE UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION WITH DON TURNER, REPUBLICAN MINORITY LEADER IN THE HOUSE.

>> REPRESENTATIVE TURNER, LET'S GET TO SOME OF THESE OTHER ISSUES THAT THE GOVERNOR LAID OUT AS HIS PRIORITIES, SAYING HE IS CONFIDENT THESE BILLS WILL PASS. ANOTHER VERY CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE, IT SEEMS TO BE A PERENNIAL ISSUE IN THAT IT COMES UP EVERY YEAR AND THAT IS KET WITH -- DEATH WITH DIGNITY. WHAT'S YOUR TAKE ON IT.

>> I THINK MY CAUCUS WILL BE VERY DIVIDED ON THAT ISSUE. MOST OF THE CAUCUS MEMBERS OPPOSE THIS. I OPPOSE THIS ISSUE. THIS IS ONE OF THOSE ISSUES, I DON'T THINK YOU CAN COMPROMISE. IT'S THR-T REALLY A -- IT'S EITHER A YES OR NO. THAT'S SO -- WE TALKED ABOUT COMPROMISE, BUT THIS ONE, IT'S YES OR NO. I BELIEVE THAT MOST OF OUR CAUCUS MEMBERS WILL STILL OPPOSE IT. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WE WON'T HAVE SOME PEOPLE SUPPORT IT, BECAUSE WE HAVE 80 MEMBERS, AND IF YOU TALK TO THEM ABOUT THIS ISSUE, I KNOW THAT DURING THE CAMPAIGN THERE WAS A LOT OF GRASSROOTS -- YOU KNOW, PEOPLE THAT WERE ASKING THAT QUESTION OF CANDIDATES AND THEN MOST PEOPLE, WE KNOW HOW THEY CAME DOWN BUT THERE WILL BE MOST OF MY CAUCUS TO SUPPORT IT, AND SHAP WON'T NEED US. HE MAY NEED MY FIVE OR SIX VOTES TO GET THIS PASSED OR NOT. THAT'S ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT -- THAT'S WHY WE'RE GOING WITH IT. THERE ARE ISSUES THAT HIS CAUCUS, BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY' THEM THAT ARE GOING TO BE DIVIDED ON THIS ISSUES IN A LOT OF WAYS, I THINK THAT THIS ONE OF THOSE ISSUES THAT MY PEOPLE MIGHT MAKE A DECISIVE VOTE AND I'M NOT GOING TO TELL THEM TO VOTE YES OR NO. IT'S GOING TO BE ON THEIR CONSTITUENTS AND THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM.

>> THE GOVERNOR HAS SAID THAT THIS IS THE YEAR THAT THIS WILL PASS.

>> I DON'T KNOW. I THINK YOU MAY HAVE A VOTE IN THE HOUSE, BUT I KNOW LAST YEAR IN THE SENATE THERE WERE PRETTY STAUNCH OPPONENTS, AND IF THEY SIT IN THOSE CHAIRS OR THOSE COMMUNITY CHAIR POSITIONS AGAIN, I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A -- TOUGH PASSING THE SENATE. I THINK THE -- FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, I DON'T THINK IT'S ONE OF THE TOP PRIORITY ISSUES, BUT HE'S MADE IT THAT WAY. IT MAY HAVE THE VOTES IN THE HOUSE TO PASS.

>> WERE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE GOVERNOR CAME OUT WITH THIS LIST OF VERY CONTROVERSIAL BILLS, SAYING THAT SHE WAS CONFIDENT THESE ITEMS WOULD PASS THIS LEGISLATIVE SESSION?

>> THE GOVERNOR NEVER SURPRISES ME.

>> WHY?

>> BECAUSE HE SHOOTS FROM THE HIP. MOST OF THE TIME IT COMES FROM THE HIP AND THROWS THEM OUT THERE. I WOULD HAVE WAITED UNTIL THE SPEAKER IS ELECTED AND PRO TEM SO THEY COULD HAVE TALKED ABOUT IT. I'M PROBABLY NOT AS SURPRISED AS MOST OF THOSE GUYS WERE.

>> THE GOVERNOR WANTS TO HAVE DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR PEOPLE ON VERMONT FARMS. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THAT?

>> I'M OPPOSED TO IT. OUR CAUCUS, LAST YEAR WE TALKED ABOUT IT, AND MOST OF THE PEOPLE IN MY CAUCUS BELIEVE VERY FIRMLY IN THE LAW. WE HAVE PEOPLE, WE USED TO CALL THEM ILLEGAL ALIENS, NOW THEY'RE MIGRANT WORKERS BECAUSE WE DON'T WANT TO USE ILLEGAL, BUT THEY'RE ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY AND GIVING THEM SUBSTANTIAL PROOF OF IDENTIFICATION ALMOST GIVES THEM RECOGNITION OF BEING A LEGAL CITIZEN FROM MY PERSPECTIVE. I KNOW THAT I'VE GOT A LOT OF INFORMATION FROM FEDERAL ENTITIES SUCH AS THE BANKERS ASSOCIATION THAT VIEW THE DRIVER'S LICENSE AS A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF DOCUMENTATION FOR THEM AND IT'S GOING TO CREATE A LOT OF PROBLEMS THAT I THINK THE GOVERNOR MAY NOT HAVE THOUGHT THROUGH AND WE ARE OPPOSED TO THAT AND I THINK THAT THAT'S GOING TO BE ONE OF THOSE ISSUES, I DON'T KNOW HOW IT WILL PLAY OUT, BUT I'M SURE MY CAUCUS WILL STAY PRETTY MUCH OZ DOLLARS TO TWO.

>> -- OPPOSED TO IT.

>> BUT THE REPUBLICANS MUST RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORKERS FOR VERMONT-AREA FARMERS IN PARTICULAR WHO CAN'T GET THE HELP ON THE FARM TO DO THE NECESSARY CHORES.

>> AND IN MANY REGARDS, A LOT OF THESE FARMERS ARE SAYING WE NEED TO HAVE THESE PEOPLE DRIVING LEGALLY IN THE STATE AND DOING THE WORK THAT THEY NEED DONE. WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT THE FARMERS AND ALL THAT STUFF. THERE IS A LEGAL WAY TO GET IN THIS COUNTRY AND DO THIS WORK AND MY POSITION IS THAT'S THE PROCESS THEY SHOULD USE TO GET THESE PEOPLE IN HERE. IF YOU GIVE THIS LICENSE, WHAT ABOUT DRIVING WITHOUT INSURANCE? THERE'S A WHOLE HOST OF ISSUES THAT COMES WITH A DRIVER'S LICENSE. ARE THEY REQUIRED TO DO DRIVER'S ED? WHEN OUR KIDS, PEOPLE GET A LICENSE IN VERMONT, IT'S A PROCESS. YOU HAVE TO HAVE PROOF OF IDENTIFICATION, TRAINING, SO ON. NOW WE'RE GOING TO DO ALL THAT STUFF TOO? THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS THAT COME WITH LIABILITY ISSUES. ALL THE STUFF COMES AROUND THIS ISSUE AND I FEEL STRONG WE WE SHOULD LOOK AT A DIFFERENT WAY TO HELP OUR FARMER THAN GIVE SOMEBODY ILLEGALLY IN THIS COUNTRY A LICENSE.

>> WITH THE HEALTH CARE UNION, THIS BILL GOT HELD UP IN THE SENATE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

>> THIS IS ONE OF THOSE BILLS WE OPPOSED TO LAST YEAR, WE THOUGHT VERY HARD AND AT THE END, WE HAD SOME IMPACT ON THAT. WE STILL HAVEN'T SEEN THE NEW PROPOSAL, BUT I STILL WANT, AS I'VE SAID ON TODAY'S SHOW, WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOOD FOR THE KIDS OF VERMONT. IF IT'S GOOD FOR THE KIDS WE'LL LOOK AT IT. IF WE NEED MORE MONEY TO OPERATE THE DAY CARE CENTERS OR CENTERS, THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING AND NOT CREATING A UNION. IF THE STATE IS NOT DOING THEIR SHARE TO PROVIDE THE BEST OPPORTUNITY FOR OUR YOUNG CHILDREN, THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO DO. IF IT'S GOING TO BE MONEY, THEN LET'S PUT THE MONEY IN THE PROGRAM, IF IT'S REGULATING THE CENTER, WE'VE GOT TO DO THAT, BUT I DON'T SEE WHERE CREATING THIS UNION IS GOING TO BE THE BEST FOR VERMONT KIDS.

>> ANOTHER CONTROVERSIAL MEASURE THAT IS EXPECTED TO BE TAKEN UP THIS YEAR IS PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING. OBVIOUSLY, ADDICTION IS FUELING MAJOR PROBLEMS AS FAR AS CRIME GOES IN THIS STATE AND WE'RE SEEING THOSE CRIMES ESCALATE INTO VIOLENT CRIME AS WELL. NOT JUST PROPERTY CRIMES AND ROBBERIES AND THAT KIND OF THING NOW. WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THAT, WHERE DO YOU THINK LAW ENFORCEMENT'S ROLE IN PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING SHOULD BE?

>> IT'S A HUGE PROBLEM, DARREN. WE SEE THESE TROUBLES, EVERY DAY, IN THE PAPER, ROBBERIES, BAD VIOLENCE, DERIVED FROM THE PRESCRIPTION ADDICTIONS AND SO ON. SO I WOULD SUPPORT WHAT WE NEED TO DO TO GET THIS PROBLEM -- TO WORK TOWARDS RESOLVING THIS PROBLEM. I AM A BIG PROPONENT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. I WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH THEM IN OUR JOB OUTSIDE OF ONTARIO, THEY DO AN INCREDIBLE JOB AND I WILL DO EVERYTHING TO HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THIS AREA.

>> DO YOU SUPPORT THE IDEA OF CERTAIN SITUATIONS, GIVING POLICE ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION?

>> I DO.

>> OKAY.

>> AND THE OTHER BIG ISSUE OF THE SESSION IS HEALTH CARE. SINGLE PAYOR HAS BEEN PUT ON THE BACK BURNER, LOOKING AT THAT AT 2017, AND THE HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE IS MANDATED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY 2014. WHAT IS THE REPUBLICAN ROLE IN THE HEALTH CARE EXCHANGE BEING SET UP, DO YOU THINK?

>> AS WE DISCUSSED EARLIER, WE HAVE A LIMITED IMPACT ON HOW WE CAN CHANGE THINGS WITH VOTES. WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS WE NEED TO CONTINUE REACHING OUT TO CONSTITUENTS, TO BUSINESS OWNERS, TO PEOPLE THAT ARE GOING TO BE AFFECTED BY THIS CHANGE. WHETHER IT'S MUNICIPALITIES, SO ON. SO WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO USE THE INFORMATION WE HAVE AND TRY TO GET IT IN THE NEWS, ON THE TV, IN THE PAPER, SO ON, FACEBOOK, WE'RE DOING ALL THAT STUFF. BUT WE REALLY CAN'T DO ANYTHING IF WE DON'T HAVE NIECE PEOPLE THAT ARE WILLING TO STEP UP AND SAY HOLD IT, THERE'S A CONCERN HERE, AND THIS IS WHAT IT IS. SO WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO IS COORDINATE AN EFFORT TO BRING PEOPLE TO THE STATE HOUSE, BUSINESSES, SO ON, THAT CAN STAND UP AND SAY THIS IS A PROBLEM. WHAT IS THE ANSWER. AND SO ON. THERE ARE TWO VERY IMPORTANT DATES TIED TO THIS HEALTH CARE REFORM, JANUARY 15TH DATE, THE DEAL WITH THE SINGLE PAYOR AND HOW MUCH IT'S GOING TO COST AND ALL THAT STUFF, WE'RE GOING TO GET THE INFORMATION THAT WE PROMISED, WITH THAT REQUEST, SO WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE SURPRISED BY THAT BUT CONTINUE TO HANDLE THAT. WE WILL GET A REPORT FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, AND THE ADMINISTRATION WILL SAY NO, THAT'S NOT THE PLAN, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, BUT IT'S GOING TO GIVE US INSIGHT INTO HOW MUCH IT'S GOING TO COST. THAT'S AN IMPORTANT DATE, JANUARY 15TH. NEXT IS MARCH 15TH, AND THAT DEALS WITH THE EXCHANGES IN THE PROGRAMS THAT MAY BE OFFERED WITHIN THE EXCHANGE, AND WHAT THOSE ARE GOING TO COST. THAT'S A VERY IMPORTANT DAY BECAUSE IT'S THE FIRST CHANCE THAT ANYBODY THAT'S GOING TO BE PUSHED INTO THIS EXCHANGE IS GOING TO SEE THERE'S A COST, SO THAT'S A HUGE DATE FOR BUSINESSES, SMALL BUSINESS, EVERYBODY THAT HAS 60 EMPLOYEES OR LESS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO BE PART OF THIS. WE'LL GET A FIRST GLANCE AT WHAT IT'S GOING TO COST. SO I THINK THOSE ARE TWO CRITICAL DATES WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT AND WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO THERE IS CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR MORE COMPETITION WITHIN THE EXCHANGE. WE'VE SEEN THAT WORK, FROM THE INFORMATION WE'VE GOT, THAT HAVE HAVING A ROBUST MARKETPLACE IN THE EXCHANGE HAS PROVIDED A BIG BENEFIT. A LOT CHOSE NOT TO DO THAT IN MY LEGISLATURE SO WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO PUSH THAT. WE'LL SEE WHAT THINGS ARE GOING TO COST.

>> WE HAVE A COUPLE OF MINUTES LEFT, BUT WE WANT TO GET TO WHAT SEEMS LIKE AN ISSUE THAT'S GETTING LEGS AND THIS COULD BE A WIND MORATORIUM IN THE STATE. WE HAVE A COUPLE OF PROJECTS IN THE KINGDOM, VERY CONTROVERSIAL, ESPECIALLY FOR THE SURROUNDING TOWNS. DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD BE A MORATORIUM IN PLACE?

>> I DO. WE HAVE A PROJECT IN MILTON, I'M NOT OPPOSED TO IT, I WASN'T OPPOSED THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS. DEFINITELY CHANGED THE LOOK OF THE MOUNTAIN. OUR GEORGIA MOUNTAIN USED TO BE BEAUTIFUL. BEAUTY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER. WHAT I DO WANT TO SEE AND I THINK IS IMPORTANT, I WANT TO SEE IF THESE PROJECTS -- WE HAVE TO DETERMINE THE COST AND THE BENEFITS AND ALL THAT STUFF ARE, IF THEY'RE REALLY WORTH WHAT WE'RE DOING TO OUR SCENIC STUFF. THE GREEN MOUNTAINS, ONCE YOU HAVE SUBSIDIES AND SET ALL OF THIS UP, WE HAVE TO SEE IS THIS THE WAY WE WANT TO GO. THE TWO-YEAR MORATORIUM, WE'VE GOT LANGUAGE WE'VE ALREADY DRAFTED, THERE ARE SEVERAL DRAFTS, SO WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT WHAT PEOPLE ARE DRAFTING AND DO A PROPOSAL AND A TWO-YEAR MORATORIUM, DO STUDIES, SEE WHERE WE'RE AT AND GO FROM THERE. I'M NOT PERSONALLY OPPOSED OR SUPPORTS, BUT SOME OF MY CONSTITUENTS ASKED ME TO DO THIS BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE STATE HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR THIS SO WE'RE GOING TO PROPOSE THAT.

>> DO YOU THINK IT HAS A CHANCE OF PASS SOMETHING.

>> I DON'T KNOW. I KNOW THE PROJECTS ARE PROPOSED ALL OVER THE PLACE. WE WILL TRY TO BUILD SOMETHING WITH THE $20 MILLION. THERE ARE AREAS ADAMANTLY OPPOSED TO THESE. THIS IS A PLACE WHERE WE LOOK AT THE PROGRESSIVES. THERE ARE PROGRESSIVES AROUND THE STATE THAT WOULD LIKE TO SEE A MORATORIUM OR EVEN HAVE IT BANNED -- BAND. I DON'T SUPPORT A BAN, JUST A MORATORIUM.

>> WEEK LEAVE IT THERE WITH DON TURNER, MINORITY REPUBLICAN OF THE HOUSE.

>> THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US.

>> THANK YOU.

>> WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.

>> THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, EVERYONE. HAVE A GREAT DAY.

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