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YCQM: May 18, 2014 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: May 18, 2014

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -


>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.
IT'S A WRAP AT THE STATEHOUSE.
SO WHICH BILLS MADE THE CUT?
AND WHAT DID LAWMAKERS NOT GET
TO THIS SESSION?
THIS MORNING ON NEWS MAKER IS He a
HOUSE SPEAKER CHAT SMITH. nt
FIRST, HERE IS A PROGRESS REPORT
FROM MONTPELIER.
MONDAY, TWO DAYS AFTER THE a
CLOSURE OF THE LEGISLATIVE
SESSION, THEY TOUTED THE PACKAGE e
OF THE TED OCCASION PACKAGE HE
LAID OUT WHEN HIS MOST RECENT ea
TERM BEGAN. sl
LAST YEAR, THE LEGISLATURE
EXPANDED DUAL ENROLLMENT FOR
HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS AND AGREED
TO PAY UP TO ONE YEAR'S WORTH OF
COST FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND
ENGINEERING AND MATH CLASSES WHO
PROMISED TO STAY IN STATE FOR
FIVE YEARS.
THIS YEAR, THE GOVERNOR FOUND IT
HARDER TO SELL HIS ED
PRIORITIES.
MONTPELIER DID SIGN OFF ON
UNIVERSAL PRE-K, BUT PLANS TO
ENSURE SCHOOL BOARDS AND
ADMINISTRATION FELL APART.
THE GOVERNOR WILL SIGN A
COMPROMISED BUDGET THAT CONTAINS
MORE THAN $5 BILLION WORTH OF
SPENDING AND RAISES JUST LESS
THAN SIX MILLION MORE IN NEW
TAXES COMPARED TO THE PREVIOUS
VERSION.
THE DOOR NEVER OPENED FOR
PROPOSALS TO DRASTICALLY
OVERHAUL SCHOOL FUNDING AND
LAWMAKERS WILL LIKELY NEED TO
FILL A $350 MILLION REVENUE HOLE
NEXT YEAR -- $50 MILLION REVENUE
HOLE.
PROPERTY TAXES WILL BE ABOUT 5%
HIGHER AND CIGARETTE TAX WILL
JUMP ANOTHER 13 CENTS.
BUT A PROPOSAL TO TAX
eCigaretteS FIZZLED.


>> GOT OUT WITH MAINTAINING THE
PROMISE NOT TO RAISIN CREPT
TAXES, SALES TAXES AND TAXES ON
HARD WORKING VERMONTERS.


>> MANDATORY SICK DAY PROPOSALS
AFTER THE PRESIDENT AND GOVERNOR
STUMPED FOR IT IN MARCH.
THE HOURLY RATES WILL CLIMB TO
$10.50 BY 2018 BUT WILL MISS THE
10.10 MARK CALLED FOR BY THE TWO
CHIEF EXECUTIVES.
THERE'S A PLAN TO PAY OFF
TEACHERS PENSIONS AND CHILD CARE
WORKERS WILL BE ALLOWED TO
UNIONIZE IN ORDER TO NEGOTIATE
REIMBURSEMENT RATES FOR THE
STATE.
INCENTIVES FOR SOLAR PRODUCERS
BOTH COMPANIES AND RESIDENTS.
LAKE SORRY PROPERTY OWNERS FACE
NEW DEVELOPMENT RULES BUT
PROPOSALS TO REGULATE STREAMS
WILL BE TARGET.
STATE THE SPEND MONEY ON
ROADWAYS MORE THAN EVER BEFORE.
THE GOVERNOR WAS FORCED TO
REVERSE HIS STANCE ON A BAN OF
HAND HELD CELL PHONE USE WHILE
DRIVING.
THE MEASURE WILL BECOME
EFFECTIVE IN OCTOBER.
LAWMAKERS MADE IT EASIER TO
PROVE DRUNK DRIVING CHARGES AND
CREATE STIFFER PENALTIES FOR
DEALERS AND NEW REGULATIONS FOR
PAWN DEALERS.
WHILE GIVING ADDICTION TREATMENT
PROGRAMS MORE RESOURCES.
THOSE IN VOLUNTARILY TREATED FOR
A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS WILL HAVE
MORE RIGHT TOSS A SPEEDY HEARING
AND LAWMAKERS MANDATED THE
DEVELOPMENT OF A STATEWIDE TASER
POLICY AS THE REACTION OF A
DEATH-A MAN WHO REACHED OUT FOR
HELP BUT DIED WHEN POLICE USED A
STUN GUN ON HIM.
DOCTORS WON'T HAVE TO FEAR
PROVIDING TREATMENT FOR
LONG-TERM LYME DISEASE SYMPTOMS,
THE EXISTENCE OF WHICH IS THE
SUBJECT OF DEBATE.
PUSHES TO FOLLOW OTHER STATES IN
LEGALIZING AND TAXING POT WENT
UP IN SMOKE.
BUT THE GOVERNOR SIGNED THE
FIRST GMA LABELING IN THE STATE.
THAT LIKELY WILL BE CHALLENGED
IN COURT SOON.
LAWMAKERS ALSO TAKING THE
GOVERNOR TO COURT TO FORCE HIM
TO RELEASE A SINGLE FINANCING
PLAN ORIGINALLY DUE IN JANUARY
OF LAST YEAR.
AND LAWMAKERS PUSHED DEBATE
UNTIL NEXT YEAR ON WHETHER TO
OKAY GUN RESTRICTIONS PASSED BY
BURLINGTON VOTERS IN MARCH.
AND TO TALK MORE ABOUT ALL OF
THAT AND MORE, THE HOUSE SPEAKER
JOINS US THIS MORNING.
THANKS FOR BEING HERE.


>> IT'S GREAT TO BE HERE,
THANKS.


>> MR. SPEAKER, LET'S START WITH
THE FIRST QUESTION NOW THAT THIS
SESSION IS OVER.
WILL YOU BE RUNNING TO BE BACK
NEXT YEAR?


>> I'M ACTUALLY TAKING THE NEXT
WEEK OFF WITH MY FAMILY AND
WE'RE GOING TO ENJOY SOME TIME
TOGETHER.
I IMAGINE THAT WILL BE THE
SUBJECT OF CONVERSATION.
I LOVE THE JOB.
THERE'S MORE TO DO.
I'VE BEEN DOING IT FOR 12 YEARS,
SIX AS SPEAKER.
I THINK IT'S FAIR TO GIVE MY
FAMILY AN OPPORTUNITY TO WEIGH
IN ON WHETHER THEY THINK I
SHOULD RUN AGAIN.


>> WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THAT
WOULD PULL YOU BACK?


>> WELL, I'M REALLY INTERESTED
IN TWO FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES.
ONE, I THINK THAT OUR EDUCATION
FINANCE AND DELIVERY SYSTEM
NEEDS TO BE REFORMED FOR THE
NEXT 50 TO 60 YEARS, AND I THINK
THAT WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO
DO IT OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS.
AND THE HEALTHCARE FINANCE IS A
ONCE IN A GENERATION KIND OF
ISSUE TO DEAL WITH IN THE
LEGISLATURE.
IT'S VERY INTRIGUING TO ME TO
SEE WHETHER IT CAN BE DONE.


>> THE CONVERSATION THAT YOU'RE
PLANNING TO HAVE WITH YOUR
FAMILY OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO,
WILL IT INVOLVE POSSIBLY EYEING
A STATEWIDE OFFICE, SOMETHING
LIKE ATTORNEY GENERAL OR
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR?


>> I WOULD NOT EXPECT IT WOULD.
YOU KNOW, HERE'S THE THING.
PREJUDGING TO SAY THAT I'LL BE
SPEAKER AGAIN, BECAUSE FIRST OF
ALL, I HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER I
WANT TO RUN AND MY CONSTITUENTS
WANT TO DECIDE WHETHER THEY WANT
TO HAVE ME.
FIRST I'M GOING TO DECIDE
WHETHER I'M GOING TO RUN.
THEN I'LL DECIDE WHETHER -- MY
CONSTITUENTS WILL DECIDE WHETHER
THEY WANT TO HAVE ME.
I'M NOT GOING TO RUN, NOT
PLANNING TO RUN FOR STATEWIDE
OFFICE IN THE COMING YEAR.
YOU KNOW, IF I GET RE-ELECTED,
I'LL FOCUS ENTIRELY ON WHAT IT
IS TO BE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
AND BE A STATE REPRESENTATIVE.


>> YOU MENTIONED SINGLE PAYOR AS
ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT WOULD
PULL YOU BACK IN POTENTIALLY.
THIS YEAR, RIGHT' LAST MINUTE,
THE HOUSE ACTUALLY INSERTED SOME
LANGUAGE THAT WOULD HAVE SET A
FIRM DEADLINE FOR THE GOVERNOR
TO RELEASE HIS PLAN AND ACTUALLY
THREATEN TO PULL FUNDING IF THAT
DEADLINE WERE MISSED.
NOW, THAT DIDN'T LAND IN A
COMPROMISE BILL.
DO YOU FEEL SETTING A DEADLINE
IS IMPORTANT DOWN THE ROAD OR DO
YOU THINK WE CAN GET THIS PLAN
AND HAVE THIS CONVERSATION
WITHOUT ONE?


>> I THINK IF WE CAN'T HAVE A
FINANCING PACKAGE BY SOMETIME IN
FEBRUARY, THAT WE NEED TO TAKE A
TIME-OUT.
IT WILL HAVE HAD ENOUGH TIME TO,
ONE, UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING TO
BE DELIVERED UNDER THIS SYSTEM,
WHAT THE SCOPE OF IT WILL BE.
AND I THINK COST IT
APPROPRIATELY SO YOU CAN THEN DO
A FINANCING PLAN.
AND IF WE CAN'T DO A FINANCING
PLAN OR CAN'T GET ONE PRESENTED
TO US BY NEXT FEBRUARY, THEN I
THINK IT'S TIME FOR US TO SAY,
OKAY, WHY DON'T WE STOP, ASSESS
WHERE WE ARE AND SEE IF WE NEED
TO MOVE IN A DIFFERENT
DIRECTION.


>> HAVE YOU HAD THAT
CONVERSATION WITH THE GOVERNOR?


>> YES.


>> AND WHAT'S HIS TAKE?


>> I THINK THAT HE BELIEVES HE
NEEDS TO GET A FINANCING PLAN ON
THE TABLE BY NEXT FEBRUARY, AND
I THINK THAT HE HAS SOME
CONCERNS ABOUT HOW LONG THE
PROCESS MIGHT DRAG OUT.
SO, I THINK HE UNDERSTANDS THAT
IF WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING,
WE REALLY NEED TO SEE SOMETHING
NEXT FEBRUARY.
THERE ARE REASONS WHY WE HAVEN'T
BEEN ABLE TO REALLY PUT TOGETHER
WHAT THE FINANCING IS GOING TO
BE.
WE WERE FOCUSED ON THE EXCHANGE,
THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF
THE EXCHANGE, UNDERSTANDING WHAT
THE BENEFITS WERE GOING TO BE
THAT WERE GOING TO BE PROVIDED.
ALL OF THOSE THINGS HAVE BEEN
DISTRACTIONS FROM THE NEXT GOAL.
SO I THINK RIGHT NOW THE
EXCHANGE IS WORKING.
WE HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT
THE BENEFITS ARE GOING TO BE OR
WE'RE CLOSE TO THAT, AND THAT'S
GOING TO GIVE US AN OPPORTUNITY
TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE COST IS
GOING TO BE.
AT THAT POINT IN TIME YOU HAVE
AN UNDERSTANDING THAT WILL ALLOW
YOU TO PUT TOGETHER A FINANCING
PLAN.


>> ANOTHER ISSUE WHERE IT SEEMED
THE HOUSE WAS READY TO ACT MORE
FORCEFULLY THAN THE SENATE WAS
THE MINIMUM WAGE BILL WHERE
INITIALLY THE HOUSE SAID, LOOK,
WE WOULD LIKE TO GET 10.10 BY
2016, OR ACTUALLY 2015, THE
INITIAL PROPOSAL.
ULTIMATELY THERE WAS A BEND THAT
WENT TO THE SENATE'S PLAN THAT
WAS 10.10 BY 2015.
WHAT WERE THE DISCUSSIONS WITH
THE SENATE AND HOW DID YOU LAND
THAT?


>> THERE WERE TWO BILLS TON WALL
IN THE HOUSE WHEN WE STARTED
THAT CALLED FOR A MINIMUM WAGE
INCREASE OF 12.50 IN ONE YEAR
AND ONE THAT CALLED FOR IT AT
15.
THOSE REFLECTED WHAT PEOPLE
BELIEVE YOU NEED FOR A LIVABLE
WAGE OR CLOSE TO A LIVABLE WAGE.
I THINK WE ALL UNDERSTOOD THAT
WHILE THAT'S NICE TO HAVE THAT
AS AN ASPIRATION, THAT WASN'T
SOMETHING WE COULD DO THAT
REALLY WOULD WORK FOR OUR SMALL
BUSINESSES OR FOR OUR BUSINESSES
IN GENERAL
SO BASICALLY WHAT WE WERE DOING
WAS TRYING TO FIND THE RIGHT
BALANCE WHERE WE COULD PUT MORE
MONEY IN PEOPLE'S POCKETS WHO
ARE WORKING HARD AND WHO ARE AT
THE BOTTOM OF THE LADDER, BUT
ALSO MAKE IT SO THAT IT
DIDN'T -- WASN'T TOO TOUGH FOR
OUR SMALL BUSINESSES.
I THINK WE LANDED IN THE RIGHT
PLACE.
I WOULD HAVE LIKED TO SEE US GET
A LITTLE MORE MONEY IN PEOPLE'S
POCKETS BUT I REALLY UNDERSTAND
WHAT WAS EXPRESSED BY
BUSINESSES.


>> IF THAT PESKY --
[INAUDIBLE]
WHERE DO YOU THINK WE WOULD HAVE
LANDED?


>> I THINK WE WOULD HAVE LANDED
SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE.
THERE'S ALWAYS THE BACK AND
FORTH IN THE PROCESS.
HERE IS THE DEAL, WE KNOW OUR
BUSINESSES ARE HAVING A TOUGH
TIME, BUT WE KNOW THE PEOPLE
MAKING A MINIMUM WAGE ARE HAVING
A REALLY ROUGH GO OF IT EITHER.
THE AMERICAN PROMISE -- THE
VERMONT PROMISE USED TO BE IF
YOU WERE WILLING TO PUT A FULL
40 HOURS IN, YOU WOULD BE ABLE
TO MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO SUPPORT
YOUR FAMILY.
THAT PROMISE DOESN'T EXIST
ANYMORE.
IT WAS NOT KEPT.
WE WERE TRYING TO PUT MORE MONEY
IN PEOPLE'S POCKETS THAT IT
WOULD MAKE SENSE FOR THEM TO GO
TO WORK.


>> DOES PAID SICK DAYS COME BACK
NEXT YEAR, IN YOUR OPINION,
GIVEN THAT IT FELL BY THE
WAYSIDE IN NO SMALL PART BECAUSE
OF THIS MINIMUM WAGE DEBATE?


>> THERE'S CLEARLY A LOT MORE
WORK TO BE DONE ON PAID SICK
DAYS.
I THINK CONCEPTUALLY WE ALL
THINK IT PROBABLY IS A GOOD
IDEA.
MOST EMPLOYERS DO PROVIDE PAID
SICK DAYS, BUT I DON'T KNOW
WHETHER WE HAVE ENOUGH SUPPORT
FOR IT AT THIS POINT IN TIME.
I THINK THERE HAS TO BE MORE
WORK DONE BY THE ADVOCATES AND I
THINK WE HAVE TO WORK MORE
CLOSELY WITH THE BUSINESS
COMMUNITY TO SEE IF THERE'S ANY
WAY THAT THEY CAN BECOME MORE
COMFORTABLE WITH IT.


>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE
GOVERNOR'S JOBS INITIATIVE IN
USING $5 MILLION IN SURPLUS
MONEY.
THIS CAME OUT A LITTLE BIT LATER
IN THE SESSION.
SHOULD THAT MONEY HAVE BEEN
BUDGETED FOR RIGHT AT THE
BEGINNING OF THE LEGISLATIVE
SESSION, AND IS THIS IN DIRECT
RESPONSE TO RUMORS THAT I.B.M.
IS LOOKING TO CLOSE UP SHOP IN
ESSEX JUNCTION?


>> I KNOW THERE WERE DISCUSSIONS
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SESSION
WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF THE HOUSE
AND SENATE AND THE
ADMINISTRATION IN THE GOVERNOR'S
OFFICE ABOUT AN ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT PROPOSAL.
I DON'T THINK IT WAS FULLY
SCRUBBED ENOUGH AT THE BEGINNING
OF THE SESSION TO PUT IT ON THE
TABLE.
BUT WE KNEW WE WANTED TO DO
SOMETHING LIKE THIS BY THE END
OF THE SESSION.
IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT I THINK
IT WOULD COME TOGETHER BY
SOMETIME IN MARCH THAT WE WERE
ABLE TO PUT IT ON THE TABLE.
SO, GIVEN WHERE WE WERE IN THE
BUDGETING, WE KNEW WE COULD MAKE
IT WORK WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF
THE BUDGET.
SO I THINK IT WAS THE RIGHT TIME
TO PUT IT ON THE TABLE.
IS IT A RESPONSE TO THE I.B.M.
RUMORS?
I THINK THAT IT WAS IN RESPONSE
TO THAT, BUT I THINK IT WAS IN
RESPONSE TO RECOGNIZING WE
NEEDED MORE TOOLS IN THE TOOL
KIT, WHETHER IT'S I.B.M. OR
ANOTHER COMPANY.


>> WILL IT BE IN FUTURE BUDGETS?
DO YOU THINK THIS IS, YOU KNOW,
PAR FOR THE COURSE AT THIS
POINT?


>> I THINK WE HAVE TO SEE
WHETHER IT WORKS.
I LOOK AT THIS AS A ONE-TIME
OPPORTUNITY TO SEE IF WE CAN DO
THINGS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENTLY
AND SEE WHETHER THEY WORK.
AND IF IT DOES WORK, THEN
PERHAPS IT WILL HAVE A
COMPELLING REASON TO SHOW UP IN
THE BUDGET AGAIN.


>> LAWMAKERS DID NOT TACKLE
BURLINGTON'S GUN CHARTER CHANGED
THAT PAST IN THE QUEENS CITY
THAT WOULD PUT TIGHTER
RESTRICTIONS AND REGULATIONS ON
GUNS.
WHY DID THAT NOT GET TAKEN UP
THIS YEAR?


>> I THINK THE PEOPLE HAD SOME
CONCERN ABOUT THE NOTION OF
ADOPTING PATCHWORK GUN
REGULATION THROUGHOUT THE STATE.
THERE IS A STATE LAW RIGHT NOW
THAT BARS LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES
FROM ADOPTING ORDINANCES THAT
REGULATE THE USE AND CARRYING OF
FIREARMS.
SO THIS PARTICULAR CHARTER WAS
IN CONFLICT WITH THAT LAW.
I THINK WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT IN
THE LEGISLATURE WHETHER WE THINK
IT'S OKAY TO HAVE A PATCHWORK OF
GUN LAWS THROUGH DIFFERENT
MUNICIPALITIES OF THE STATE OR
WHETHER WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING
ON THE STATEWIDE LEVEL.


>> DO YOU ANTICIPATE TAKING UP
THAT TOPIC AGAIN?


>> I DO THINK IT'S GOING TO BE
SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO BE
TAKEN UP NEXT YEAR.
YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE ON BOTH
SIDES OF THE ISSUE ARE VERY
PASSIONATE ABOUT THE ISSUE.
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO FIGURE
OUT EXACTLY HOW YOU'RE GOING TO
BRIDGE THE GAP AND FIND COMMON
GROUND.


>> THERE'S A GROUP OF ADVOCATES
AT THE STATEHOUSE SHORTLY BEFORE
ADJOURNMENT AND THEY SAID, NEXT
YEAR WE'VE GOT PLEDGES FROM
SENATE PRO-TEM SENATOR JOHN
CAMPBELL AS WELL AS YOURSELF TO
MOVE FORWARD WITH UNIVERSAL
BACKGROUND CHECK LANGUAGE ON ALL
GUN SALES.
IS THAT SOMETHING YOU'RE
COMMITTED TO?


>> I THINK WE'RE READY FOR THAT
CONVERSATION, WHETHER THERE ARE
ENOUGH VOTES IN THE HOUSE TO DO
SOMETHING LIKE THAT I THINK IS
STILL A QUESTION.
IT'S WIDELY SUPPORTED BY
VERMONTERS, BUT PEOPLE WHO OWN
GUNS FEAR THAT THIS IS THE FIRST
STEP TO TAKING THEM AWAY.
AND I THINK WHAT WE HAVE TO DO
IS HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT
SENSIBLE GUN REGULATION DOES NOT
MEAN THAT PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO
DISRESPECT GUN OWNERSHIP AND
TRADITIONAL FIREARM SPORTSMAN.
I THINK WE NEED TO HAVE MORE OF
A CONVERSATION SO THAT BOTH
SIDES FEEL COMFORTABLE.


>> ONE OF THE BIGGEST MEASURES,
THE NEW GMO LABELING LAW, THE
FIRST IN THE NATION OF ITS KIND,
LAWSUITS ALREADY THREATENED.
HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST
VERMONT?


>> I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH IT'S
GOING TO COST VERMONT, BUT I
CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THE FOOD
INDUSTRY HAS DECIDED THAT THEY
WANT TO SUE TO PREVENT PEOPLE
FROM KNOWING WHAT'S IN THEIR
FOOD.
WHAT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME IS
IT CREATES SUSPICION BY HAVING
THAT THREAT OUT THERE,
THREATENING TO SUE.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING TO
HIDE, THEN JUST PUT THE LABEL ON
THE FOOD.
IF YOU ARE FIGHTING AGAINST
LABELING IT, IT SUGGESTS THAT
YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO HIDE.
AND I WOULD THINK THAT THE
INDUSTRY WOULD SAY -- WOULD
WELCOME THIS, WHICH THEY'VE DONE
IN WESTERN EUROPE AND THROUGHOUT
MUCH OF THE REST OF THE WORLD
AND SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT?
WE UNDERSTAND PEOPLE WANT TO
HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT'S IN
THEIR FOOD.
WE'RE OKAY WITH THAT AND WE'RE
GOING TO DO IT.
NOT ONLY ARE WE GOING TO DO IT
IN VERMONT BUT WE'RE GOING TO DO
IT THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND
JUST MAKE IT A NATIONWIDE
PRACTICE AND GET OVER IT.
I THINK THEY'RE CREATING MORE OF
A FIRESTORM BY SUING THAN BY
JUST PUTTING A LABEL ON IT AND
SAYING, HEY, YOU WANT TO KNOW
WHAT'S IN YOUR FOOD, THAT'S OKAY
BY US.


>> WHY GO IT ALONE?
A LOT OF OTHER STATES HAVE BEEN
LOOKING AT THIS VERY ISSUE.
SOME OTHER STATES HAD PASSED
LEGISLATION THAT WAS REALLY
CONTINGENT ON MAKING SURE OTHER
STATES GOT ON BOARD SO THEY WERE
NOT GOING IT ALONE FACING THESE
LAWSUITS ALONE AS WELL.
WHY SHOULD VERMONT TAKE THE LEAD
ON THIS?


>> I'LL TELL YOU, THIS WAS
SOMETHING THAT I GOT MORE
CONTACTS FROM MY CONSTITUENTS ON
THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER ISSUE.
AND WHEN YOU SAW THE DEBATE ON
THE FLOOR, THAT WAS TRUE FOR
REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS,
INDEPENDENTS, PROGRESSIVES.
THEY WERE ALL GETTING CONTACTED
BY THEIR CONSTITUENTS.
AND EVEN WHEN THEY SAID TO THEIR
CONSTITUENTS, YOU KNOW, THIS MAY
COST US SOME MONEY, CONSTITUENTS
WERE SAYING, WE CARE ABOUT
KNOWING WHAT'S IN OUR FOOD.
I THINK THAT THE PEOPLE OF
VERMONT BELIEVE THAT IT'S WORTH
TAKING IT TO THE MAT.
THERE IS THIS NOTION THAT SORT
OF BIG CORPORATE AG INDUSTRY IS
TRYING TO FIGHT PEOPLE'S RIGHT
TO KNOW WHAT'S IN THEIR FOOD,
AND PEOPLE DON'T LIKE THAT.


>> ON THE FLIP SIDE, COULD THIS
BE A WIN FOR VERMONT IN SOME
WAY?
COULD WE COME OUT SORT OF THE
SHINING STAR?


>> WE COULD.
YEAH, I THINK THERE'S A REAL
CHANCE THAT WE WIN THIS LAWSUIT.
AND IF WE WIN THIS LAWSUIT, I
THINK IT SORT OF PUSHES IN THE
DOOR FOR THE REST -- FOR THE
REST OF THE COUNTRY TO MAKE A
DECISION ABOUT GOING FORWARD
WITH THESE KIND OF LABELING
LAWS.


>> AN ISSUE WHERE THE GOVERNOR
ESPECIALLY AND SEVERAL MEMBERS
OF THE LEGISLATURES HAVEN'T
WANTED TO GO IT ALONE OR AT
LEAST FOLLOW COLORADO AND
WASHINGTON'S LEAD IS LEGALIZING
MARIJUANA.
DO YOU EXPECT THAT TO BE A REAL
ISSUE IN NEXT YEAR'S SESSION?


>> I DON'T KNOW IF IT WILL BE A
REAL ISSUE IN NEXT YEAR'S
SESSION, BUT I THINK IT'S A
CONVERSATION THAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF
YEARS.
YOU KNOW, MY VIEWS ON THIS IS
PRETTY WELL-KNOWN.
I'M NOT A BIG FAN OF
LEGALIZATION OF MARIJUANA.
I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE SIGNAL
THAT IT SENDS TO OUR KIDS.
I'M ALSO CONCERNED ABOUT THE
SUBSTANCE ABUSE EPIDEMIC THAT WE
HAVE IN THIS STATE.
SO I'D LIKE TO FIND OUT WHAT THE
EXPERIENCE OF COLORADO IS AND
WASHINGTON AS IT FOLLOWS
COLORADO AND UNDERSTAND, OKAY,
NOW THAT YOU'VE LEGALIZED IT, IS
THERE MORE USE OF MARIJUANA?
ARE YOU HAVING MORE SUBSTANCE
ABUSE PROBLEMS?
AND ONCE WE'VE SEEN THAT, AND IF
THE ANSWER IS NO, THERE'S NO
MORE USE OF MARIJUANA AND WE
DON'T HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL
SUBSTANCE ABUSE PROBLEMS AND
WE'VE FIGURE YOU HAD FIGURED HOW HOW TO
EFFECTIVELY REGULATE IT, I THINK
WE'LL BE READY TO MOVE FORWARD
WITH THE LEGALIZATION.


>> IS THAT SOME OF THE STUDY THE
COMMISSION WILL BE LOOKING AT?
WILL SOME OF THE ANSWERS COME
FROM THIS STUDY?


>> I EXPECT SOME OF THOSE
ANSWERS WILL.
ONE OF THE CONCERNS THAT I HAVE
IS THAT THE NOTION OF THE
REVENUE THAT IS GENERATED FROM
THE SALE OF MARIJUANA IS VERY
ATTRACTIVE.
IN A TIME WHERE WE HAVE
PERSISTENT BUDGET GAPS, THE
NOTION OF LEGALIZING MARIJUANA
FOR THE PURPOSES OF BALANCING
THE BUDGET IS SOMETHING THAT
PEOPLE MIGHT HANG THEIR HAT ON,
AND I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THAT.


>> EVEN IF IT PAYS FOR HEALTH
CARE SAY?


>> YOU KNOW, SO IF YOU'RE GOING
TO HAVE LEGALIZATION LEAD TO
MORE SUBSTANCE ABUSE, THEN I'M
NOT SURE WHETHER YOU REALLY ARE
HELPING YOURSELF BY LEGALIZING
IT TO PAY FOR HEALTH CARE AND
HAVING TO PAY FOR MORE SUBSTANCE
ABUSE.


>> SPEAKING OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE,
THE LEGISLATURE SPENT A GOOD
AMOUNT OF TIME BOTH THIS YEAR
AND THE PREVIOUS YEAR DEALING
WITH OP ATS.
DO YOU -- OPIATES. DO YOU THINK THE LEGISLATURE HAS
DONE EVERYTHING THEY CAN?
DO YOU THINK THERE ARE MORE
POSSIBLE LAWS WE SHOULD LOOK AT?


>> I THINK WE'VE BEEN DILIGENT
TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM, BUT
THIS IS A PROBLEM THAT'S GOING
TO TAKE YEARS AND YEARS TO GET
TO THE BOTTOM OF.
YOU KNOW, THE AVAILABILITY OF
HEROIN IS HIGH.
IT'S NOT ONLY IN THIS STATE.
IT'S ACTUALLY THROUGHOUT THE
COUNTRY.
IT'S CHEAP.
WE HAVE TO CUT OFF THAT SUPPLY.
WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH TREATMENT
OF THOSE WHO ARE -- WHO HAVE
ADDICTION.
WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE
DON'T HAVE GATEWAYS INTO IT BY
HAVING TOO MANY REGULATED
OPIATES THAT THEY HAVE ACCESS
TO.
I THINK IT'S GOT TO BE A
MULTIPRONGED APPROACH AND IT'S
GOING TO TAKE US A NUMBER OF
YEARS TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM.


>> MR. SPEAKER, WE NEED TO TAKE
A BRIEF BREAK.


>>> WELCOME BACK.
WE'RE TALKING THIS MORNING WITH
SPEAKER SHAP SMITH.
MR. SPEAKER, THE EDUCATION
COMMITTEE SPENT A GOOD AMOUNT OF
TIME LOOKING AT POSSIBLE
EDUCATION REFORM, SPECIFICALLY
GOVERNANCE.
YOU MENTIONED AT THE TOP OF THE
SHOW, FINANCING AS A WHOLE MIGHT
NEED A LOOK.
WHAT'S ON THE TABLE FOR THE NEXT
COUPLE OF YEARS, THE NEXT
BIENNIUM?


>> WE DO HAVE A CHALLENGE IN
FRONT OF US.
WE HAVE DECLINING ENROLLMENT AND
WE HAVE INCREASING COSTS.
WE HAVE A GOVERNANCE SYSTEM THAT
WAS PUT IN PLACE IN THE 1890S,
270 OR MORE SCHOOL DISTRICTS
THAT HAVE LESS FLEXIBILITY THAN
SOMETIMES THEY MIGHT NEED.
SO I THINK WE'RE GOING TO NEED
TO LOOK AT THE GOVERNANCE ISSUE
OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS.
I THINK WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A
WAY TO GET AT THE COST ISSUE.
ON THE FLIP SIDE, WE ARE GOING
TO HAVE TO ADDRESS THE FINANCING
PLAN.
IN THE HOUSE WE SAID THAT BY
2017, WE PLAN TO MOVE IN A
DIRECTION THAT RELIES MORE ON
INCOME-BASED FINANCING RATHER
THAN PROPERTY TAX FINANCING.
I EXPECT US TO LOOK AT THAT NEXT
YEAR.


>> CAN GOVERNANCE -- HOW MUCH
MONEY CAN GOVERNANCE SAVE?
I KNOW THE REPORT SUGGESTED
POTENTIALLY 1 TO 2%.
IT WAS DISCUSSED, THOUGH, NOT IN
HOUSE EDUCATION AND SOME OTHER
COMMITTEES AS A POSSIBLE MONEY
SAVER.
DOES GOVERNANCE GET US ALL THE
WAY THERE?
OR DOES A TEACHER SALARY,
PERSONNEL COSTS, WHATEVER YOU
WANT TO CALL IT AND SPECIAL
EDUCATION NEED TO BE ADDRESSED?


>> WELL, I THINK SPECIAL
EDUCATION DEFINITELY IS GOING TO
NEED TO BE ADDRESSED.
I THINK THE STUDENTS-TO-ADULT
RATIO IS WHAT'S DRIVING COSTS.
WE HAVE ONE OF THE LOWEST IN THE
COUNTRY.


>> 10-1.


>> I THINK THAT'S -- IF WE COULD
BUMP THAT NUMBER UP A LITTLE
BIT, WE COULD ACTUALLY SAVE A
FAIR AMOUNT MORE MONEY.
I THINK THAT THE GOVERNANCE
CHANGE MAY GIVE US THAT
OPPORTUNITY BECAUSE IT MAY
PROVIDE US MORE FLEXIBILITY IN
STAFFING WITHIN LARGER EDUCATION
DISTRICTS.
I THINK THAT WE TOOK AN
IMPORTANT FIRST STEP THIS YEAR.
I THINK THAT WHAT WE'LL SEE IS
PEOPLE WILL PULL ALTERNATIVE
PROPOSALS ON THE TABLE OVER THE
COMING MONTHS BEFORE WE COME
BACK INTO THE LEGISLATIVE
SESSION, BRING THOSE IN, SEE
WHERE THEY CAN SAVE SOME MONEY
AND LET'S MOVE FORWARD NOT
FORGETTING THAT WE WANT TO
RETAIN VERMONT STATUS AS ONE OF
THE BEST PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM
IN THE COUNTRY.


>> YOU MENTIONED THE SHIFT TO
INCOME FROM PROPERTY TAXES.
OTHERWISE IS THAT 6068 STILL
VIABLE?


>> I THINK THAT WOULD BE A
TRANSITION FROM ACT 606 AND 68.
I THINK ACT 60 AND 68 AS
MECHANISMS MAKE SENSE.
BUT GIVEN THE CURRENT COST
STRUCTURE AND THAT WE HAVEN'T
PUT AS MUCH INTO THE ACT 60 AND
68 MEANS WE'RE RELYING TOO MUCH
ON THE PROPERTY TAX AND I THINK
WE HAVE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO
GET AWAY FROM THAT.


>> LAWMAKERS DID NOT SET A VETO
SESSION DATE.
DOES THAT MEAN YOU'RE NOT
ANTICIPATING ANY VETOES FROM THE
GOVERNOR?


>> WE TRIED VERY HARD TO MAKE
SURE WE WERE IN ALIGNMENT WITH
THE HOUSE, THE SENATE AND THE
GOVERNOR'S OFFICE ON BILLS WE
WERE PASSING.
I DON'T ANTICIPATE IT.
IF THERE IS A VETO, I WOULD
EXPECT THAT IF WE FELT WE NEEDED
TO COME BACK, WE HAD TALKED WITH
THE GOVERNOR, HE HAD SAID HE
WOULD CALL US BACK IF BOTH THE
PRESIDENT PRO-TEM AND I ASKED
HIM TO DO SO.


>> IF YOU WERE TO PICK A BILL
THAT COULD BE UP FOR VETO, WHAT
WOULD IT BE?


>> I ACTUALLY DON'T THINK WE'LL
SEE A VETO.
BUT, YOU KNOW, THERE MAY BE
SOMETHING THAT THE GOVERNOR SEES
THAT'S A TECHNICAL ISSUE.
BUT I DON'T THINK WE'LL SEE A
VETO.


>> FOR AWHILE THERE WAS A
CONCERN THAT IF YOU CAME FORWARD
WITH A BAN ON HAND HELD CELL
PHONE USE BEHIND THE WHEEL, THAT
THE GOVERNOR MIGHT VETO THAT.
THE MEASURE APPEARED TO BE DEAD
FOR A WEEK OR TWO BEFORE THE END
OF THE SESSION, THEN IN A CRAFTY
BIT OF POLITICAL MANEUVERING,
THE BAN WAS ATTACH TODAY A
MISLIVES DRIVING BILL THAT WOULD
HAVE BEEN QUITE DIFFICULT FOR
THE GOVERNOR TO VETO.
TALK TO US ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE
OF THE BILL, IF THIS IS
SOMETHING THAT ONLY MOVED
BECAUSE OF THE POLL RESULTS
ESSENTIALLY SHOWING THAT MOST
VERMONTERS FAVORED THIS?
AND WAS THAT STRATEGY?


>> WELL, I MEAN, YOU KNOW,
NOTHING IS DEAD UNTIL WE
ADJOURN.
THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS I'VE
LEARNED IN MY SIX YEARS AS
SPEAKER.
AS LONG AS YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN
PLAY, THERE'S A POSSIBILITY THAT
IT'S GOING TO MOVE.
SO, YOU KNOW, THIS IS AN ISSUE
THAT'S BEEN REALLY IMPORTANT TO
THE HOUSE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF
TIME.
IT'S HAD TRI-PARTISAN SPORT
WITHIN THE HOUSE.
TOM KOCH, MAXINE GRAD, OTHERS
HAVE REALLY STRONGLY SUPPORTED
IT.
VERMONTERS WANTED IT.
THEY THINK THAT IT WILL HELP
IMPROVE HIGHWAY SAFETY.
I'M GLAD WE WERE ABLE TO GET IT
THROUGH.
I APPRECIATE THE FACT THAT
SENATOR MAZA AND THE GOVERNOR
WERE ABLE TO WORK OUT A
COMPROMISE THAT WOULD SATISFY
BOTH OF THEM.


>> WE HAVE ABOUT A MINUTE LEFT.
WHO ARE THE WINNERS AND WHO ARE
THE LOSERS THIS LEGISLATIVE
SESSION?


>> YOU KNOW, I TRY NOT TO THINK
IN THOSE TERMS.
I THINK THE FACT THAT WE WERE
ABLE TO BALANCE THE BUDGET, THAT
WE WERE ABLE TO PASS A MINIMUM
WAGE BILL AND THAT WE WERE ABLE
TO PASS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
BILL ALL WITH TRI-PARTISAN VOTES
MEANS VERMONTERS WERE WINNERS
BECAUSE THEY SAW THE WAY THAT A
LEGISLATURE CAN WORK EFFECTIVELY
TOGETHER ACROSS PARTY LINES IN A
WAY THAT MAY BE A LESSON FOR
WHAT'S HAPPENING DOWN IN
WASHINGTON.


>> ANY REGRETS?


>> YOU KNOW, I DO THINK THAT WE
COULD HAVE DONE MORE ON THE
EDUCATION ISSUE.
EVEN IF IT WASN'T THE EDUCATION
GOVERNANCE BILL THAT THE HOUSE
PASSED, I THINK THAT WE NEED TO
DEAL WITH THE QUESTION OF COSTS
AND WE NEED TO CHANGE TO SOME
DEGREE THE WAY WE FINANCE
EDUCATION.


>> HOUSE SPEAKER, SHAP SMITH,
THANKS FOR BEING WITH US THIS
MORNING.


>> MY PLEASURE.


>> THANKS FOR WATCHING,
EVERYONE, AT HOME.
WE'LL SEE YOU SOON.
CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY
CAPTION ASSOCIATESLLC.


>> Man: BROUGHT TO YOU BY...
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