"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.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>