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Vt. House gives nod to guard chief bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. House gives nod to guard chief bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont House has given preliminary approval of a bill that would retool the way the chief of the Vermont National Guard is appointed.

The legislation follows a controversial process that led to the Legislature's election of Brigadier Gen. Steven Cray to the job in February. That election was marked by one candidate's withdrawal and the candidacy of another man who was not a Guard member but was running to oppose the possible basing of a new fighter jet in South Burlington.

The bill given preliminary approval on Wednesday sets up a new panel to vet candidates for the adjutant general's job and make recommendations to lawmakers.

The House defeated attempts to debate the F-35 fighter plane, and to allow civilians to head the guard.

Final action is expected Thursday.

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