Douglas writes six state troopers into new budget

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(Host) Governor-elect Jim Douglas says he’ll propose the addition of at least six new state troopers when he submits his budget to the Legislature in January.

Douglas says most departments of state government will be level-funded or cut in his budget for fiscal year 2004. But he says more money is needed to help the state troopers in their battle to fight heroin:

(Douglas) “I’m very concerned about the number of state troopers that we have on our highways. We have 30 or 40 vacancies, as I’m sure you know. Just last Thursday, a deputy sheriff in Orleans County confiscated 79 bags of heroin after a routine traffic stop on Interstate 91. That’s why it’s important to have troopers on the roads, to insure that our strategy to interdict heroin transportation and sales in Vermont is effective.”

(Host) Douglas says he’ll also exempt higher education and economic development programs from any budget cuts in next year’s budget.

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