Legislative session begins today

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The Vermont Legislature re-convenes today for its 2008 session, but don’t be surprised if some people in Montpelier are thinking ahead by a few months.

With Governor Douglas and all 180 members of the legislature facing the prospect of elections in November, political considerations are likely to play a role in this session.

Both Douglas and legislative leaders say they expect an energy bill will pass this year, with the same goals of the one passed last year and just in time to take it to the voters, like a report card with straight As.

Opinions vary among longtime Statehouse observers about what impact a looming election has on a legislative session.

Both Douglas spokesman Jason Gibbs and Senate Majority Leader John Campbell, D-Windsor, a possible gubernatorial candidate, insist they’re focused on the policy, not the politics, at least for now.

Campbell says that with two-year terms still in place in Vermont, every other year is an election year. He says that if lawmakers worried about that, they’d never get anything done.

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