The state lottery and the new border crossing rules were only a few of the stories in the news this week. The marijuana debate continued, a 10 percent cut in local transportation funds was proposed, a four-year term for governor was debated, and we learned about a fungus that’s threatening bats.
Here’s a listen back to some of the voice in the news this week:
Officials upset over proposed 10 percent cut in local highway aid
(Steve Jeffrey, Vermont League of Cities and Towns) "It means that local citizens at March Town Meeting are going to have to make a very difficult decision. They only have two options: They either raise local property taxes to fill that gap or they defer to another year the addressing of this backlog."
Affordable housing advocates criticize budget cuts audio?
(Kenn Sassarossi, Housing Vermont) "We might have understood a modest cut or a reduction of the 4.5 percent increase that was proposed in last year’s appropriation bill. But we’re looking at a cut of one-third to the funding for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. That means that one out of three of these projects that you see that have been in the pipeline for some time will not get funded."
Prosecutor, police chief disagree over decriminalizing marijuana
(Windsor County State‘s Attorney Bobby Sand) "Are we comfortable calling someone a criminal simply because they use a small amount of marijuana?"
(Winooski Police Chief Steve McQueen) "So keep in mind where this is coming from and the criminal enterprise that is behind a lot of this. It’s not as benign as you might think. It’s not as benign as alcohol or tobacco because those are legal."
Former Governors present opposing views of four year term
(Former Governor Dean) "I understand why the polls say that more Vermonters favor a 4 year term than not because they get sick of the politics and sick of the ads and sick of the long winded speeches and so forth every four years I think that’s the price you have to pay to live in a real democracy."
(Former Governor Madeleine Kunin) "So my bottom line is that I think you get better policy I do think it’s a realistic recognition of how the role of the governor of the state of Vermont has changed."
First day of new border rules goes smoothly
(Jacques St. Pierre, visitor from Montreal) "When you travel other countries in the world, you have to bring a passport with you, in most countries. All of them, matter of fact, I would say."
Bats threatened by fungus
(State wildlife biologist Scott Darling) "I’m quite worried, actually. It’s one of those things where you are trying very hard to get your arms around what it is, in fact, affecting these bats.”