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.
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 >>