Under a snow-covered capitol dome Friday, legislators covered a controversial topic. Vermont could become the third U.S. state to allow terminal patients in chronic pain and with signoff from doctors the option to take a lethal dosage of pills.
"The bill as drafted is flawed, and needs to be-- a number of areas need to be clearer," said Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington County, who is chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Sears says he's against the concept of the proposed law, as are a majority of his committee colleagues. Normally, that would spell the end of a bill, a fate prior versions met in previous sessions.
"But I really believe Vermonters have the right to have the entire senate engaged in the debate," said Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia County.
The committee needed procedural clarification to make that a reality, as it held an unusual vote on whether to recommend that the full Senate reject the bill.
"No... Wait, yes," laughed Sen. Alice Nitka, D-Windsor County.
With three in support, one against and one absent, that question will now land in front of the full body next week.
"I would want the opportunity to correct the bill in ways that I think can improve the bill whether you're for it or against it," said Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden County.
Because the committee is not recommending the bill pass, amendments could not be made Friday. Ashe will get that chance though if the Senate votes to keep the bill in play.
About five senators have not publicly expressed their views on the legislation, making its fate next week unclear. In the event of a tie, Sears says he expects Lt. Governor Phil Scott would cast a decisive vote against the bill.
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:49:17 GMT
A Plattsburgh woman faces charges for allegedly attacking someone with a knife. New York State Police were called to the Best Value Inn on Booth Drive Sunday night for a report of a domestic dispute. InvestigatorsMore >>
A Plattsburgh woman faces charges for allegedly attacking someone with a knife.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:14 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:14:46 GMT
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street in Burlington Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly 300 dollars from him. Police arrested 29-year-olds Andre Martel and Anthony HammondMore >>
A Winooski man says he was held at knife point on Church Street Monday afternoon as robbers took nearly $300 from him.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-03-11 14:01:29 GMT
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison. Police say Christopher Bush topped speeds of 100-miles-per-hour in a stolen SUV. The 27 year old pleadedMore >>
A South Londonderry man captured at the end of a high-speed chase now faces up to life in prison.More >>
Tuesday, March 11 2014 11:58 AM EDT2014-03-11 15:58:56 GMT
Vermont State Police dive teams will search Otter Creek Tuesday for a missing Proctor woman. Maryann Foster, 59, went missing the week of Feb. 24 and there has been no luck finding her yet. Police sayMore >>
Vermont State Police dive teams will search Otter Creek Tuesday for a missing Proctor woman.More >>