Vermont lawmakers convene this week for a session expected to be dominated by budget concerns, the future of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant and electoral politics.
Lawmakers are expected to look for ways to close a budget gap currently estimated at about $150 million. Some may call for tax increases, but those are expected to draw stiff opposition from Gov. Jim Douglas.
Also on the agenda: a decision on whether the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant should get a 20-year extension on its license, which currently is set to expire in 2012.
And much of the debate will be colored by politics. Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie is running for governor, and three of the five Democrats who also are currently sit in the Senate.