The budget, raw milk legislation and a possible loss of Federal stimulus dollars were discussed at the State House. Arlen Specter changed parties. And area hospitals prepared for a possible outbreak of swine flu. These were some of the voices in the news this week:
(Senate President Peter Shumlin) "We’re at the point where I’m bound and determined to adjourn this Legislature a week from Saturday…and we need to know by tomorrow morning whether we can come to some form of an agreement or whether we’re going to have to pass a budget that the Governor will have to choose what to do with."
(Lyndon Representative Richard Lawrence) "The Agriculture Agency has now become a supporter of this particular bill. Originally it had no interest in it but as we continued to develop criteria to make what we consider raw milk as a safer product, they came on board as a partner."
(House Transportation Chairman Rich Westman) "If we drop our level of spending and we aren’t able to match all the federal dollars, the feds say we aren’t maintaining our effort and we become ineligible for federal stimulus funds going forward."
(Senator Patrick Leahy) "I got the impression that he went through much the same that Jim Jeffords did in feeling that the Republican Party, a great party in this country, had left him and not the other way around."
(Denise Simpson, Rutland Regional Medical Center) "Our normal waiting room is to my left here, but to my right is a special waiting room in the event we’d need to separate potentially infectious patients."
(Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Wendy Davis) "We are working on what would be necessary to make sure that medication is available for appropriate use if we do end up with some cases in Vermont – and I should say I will not be surprised if that happens."