It's been rewritten, postponed and the subject of debate on and off the floor for years. But Wednesday, the Vermont Senate bridged an evenly split divide over how to allow the terminally ill to end their own lives.
The Senate sought an open, short bill that did little other than protect doctors.
The House modeled its measure on Oregon's assisted-suicide law, requiring extensive oversight.
"The compromise for now brings together these two major considerations," said Sen. Claire Ayer, D-Addison County.
Wednesday's deal enacts the House model upon final passage, but automatically transitions to the looser, simpler Senate version after three years.
Replacing criminal penalties for possessing up to 1 ounce of marijuana with civil tickets roughly equivalent to a speeding ticket easily won Senate approval. The bill would not legalize driving while stoned, or growing and selling marijuana.
The House will need to sign off on a few small changes to the bill before it lands on the governor's desk for his signature.
Representatives spent much of the day debating the rules governing how they run for office. Opponents on the right felt imposing limits on super PAC spending opens up the state to lawsuits, and is unnecessary.
Critics on the left say scrapping limits on how much parties can give to candidates, and across-the-board increases to donation limits run counter to earlier proposals.
"We have opened our doors to big money's influence and welcomed the damaging impact that comes with it," said Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington.
Politicians won't see any impact until the next election cycle in two years, but any work they don't get to this year, will receive fresh attention next January.
Thursday, December 12 2013 7:43 PM EST2013-12-13 00:43:01 GMT
The governor and top health officials say vital signs for Vermont's health exchange are improving. Tens of thousands are now signed up, but not as many as initially anticipated. More >>
The governor and top health officials say vital signs for Vermont's health exchange are improving. Tens of thousands are now signed up, but not as many as initially anticipated. About 60 percent of those originally expected to enroll are signed up. More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 6:02 PM EST2013-12-12 23:02:47 GMT
Police have made a second arrest in a Brattleboro sexual assault. They arrested Jeffrey Anderson, 29, of Brattleboro, last month. Thursday, they picked up William Brown, 29, of Hinsdale, N.H. PoliceMore >>
Police have made a second arrest in a Brattleboro sexual assault.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:02 PM EST2013-12-12 17:02:24 GMT
Littleton police say they've caught a man wanted for an attempted armed robbery and a burglary to boot. Police arrested Christopher Manzella, 27, in connection with a break-in at a home on Sampson RoadMore >>
Littleton police say they've caught a man wanted for an attempted armed robbery and a burglary to boot.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 4:29 PM EST2013-12-12 21:29:00 GMT
Police have made a third arrest in connection with a brawl outside a Plattsburgh State fraternity house. City police arrested Jake Feldman, 20, on a charge of second-degree assault. Investigators sayMore >>
Police have made a third arrest in connection with a brawl outside a Plattsburgh State fraternity house.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 4:56 PM EST2013-12-12 21:56:44 GMT
A fraternity and a sorority at the University of Vermont have been placed under interim suspension while UVM police investigate allegations of underage drinking. One alleged incident happened in NovemberMore >>
A fraternity and a sorority at the University of Vermont have been placed under interim suspension while UVM police investigate allegations of underage drinking.More >>