"I believe we've got about 50 bills in this committee, that means not all of them make it out," said Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington County).
Sears oversees the Senate Judiciary Committee. Legislators are expected to work out of the statehouse through May, but if bills don't leave committee by March 15th, they are unlikely to pass before next year. "Usually what we do is have arrangements with the house on certain high-profile issues," Sears said.
Friday, House Leader Shap Smith and Senate President John Campbell met in order to determine if such an agreement is possible for proposed marijuana decriminalization. There are currently bills in both chambers, but Senators say the legislation faces a stickier path through the house, so they're allowing debate to begin there.
"We're working very hard in the house judiciary committee to complete as much of our work as possible before crossover," said House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Bill Lippert (D-Hinesburg).
His committee is just as swamped as the Senate's. Rep. Lippert, said his group's first priority is dealing with several bills meant to tackle opiate and methamphetamine addiction. He hopes to streamline those measures with similar proposals in front of the human services committee. "Probably a dozen bills wrapped into one large bill -- We will take to the floor jointly from the two committees," he said.
Sen. Sears said his committee won't consider any gun legislation that doesn't originate in the House. A bill limiting magazine sizes and imposing background checks is currently sitting in Lippert's committee. But both concede other issues, like labeling for genetically modified foods, likely won't get serious attention until next year.
Legislators said the deadline is even tighter this year due to the late start at the capitol. However, they also said more exceptions to crossover can be made in the first year of each biennium.
Sunday, December 8 2013 11:56 PM EST2013-12-09 04:56:59 GMT
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. It happened Saturday night on the Killington Road. Police say 26-year-old Kyle Wilson wentMore >>
An Enfield, New Hampshire man is dead. And a Killington driver has been charged in connection with the death. More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:36 PM EST2013-12-09 03:36:50 GMT
A Burlington congregation made a short pilgrimage to it's new home Sunday. The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decidedMore >>
The Christ Presbyterian Church has leased property from the University of Vermont for the last 35 years. But UVM has decided not to renew its lease.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:35 PM EST2013-12-09 03:35:27 GMT
The 5th annual Festival of Trees in St. Albans is helping to feed the hungry this holiday season. Thirty decorated trees are on display in City Hall. Some of the trees have been auctioned off and theMore >>
Thirty decorated trees are on display in City Hall. Some of the trees have been auctioned off and the rest will be given away at a raffle.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 10:02 PM EST2013-12-09 03:02:41 GMT
Burlington Police are looking for two suspects involved in an assault and robbery.It happened on Front Street Sunday afternoon. The victim told police he was held up at gunpoint by two African AmericanMore >>
Burlington Police are looking for two suspects involved in an assault and robbery.More >>
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:34 PM EST2013-12-09 02:34:59 GMT
"It was always a lot of fun. It was a great way to dress up and have a fancy party -- something that we usually didn't get to go to, big fancy events," said Ann Cunningham. Cunningham, a native of Burlington,More >>
How do you spread holiday cheer? For decades, one Vermont family has kept up a tradition to throw a christmas party for hundreds of families in need.More >>