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Legislative Notes for February 7, 2013

February 4, 2013

Physician assisted suicide; climate change and gun control were the hot topics of the week at the Statehouse.  

At two hearings on Tuesday several committees listened to testimony on the pros and cons of passing a law that would allow terminal patients the right to take their own lives.  This is a very controversial issue for many people.  Palliative care and hospice programs are very highly regarded in Vermont.  As a result, I cannot support this change in law.

On Wednesday, Bill McKibben a known and controversial speaker on climate change gave a one hour presentation on climate change and its impact on the world.  He lobbied very hard for additional renewable energy, increased thermal efficiency and against a proposed moratorium on industrial scale wind developments.  I agree with his perspective that the world is changing.  However, I find that he does not have any idea of the economic impact of his ideology on Vermonters.  For example, Vermont utility rates have risen dramatically over the past ten years as result of these policies aimed at counter acting climate change.  Vermont now has the highest utility rates in New England.  I agree that everyone must do their part to reduce climate change and in Vermont we are doing our part.  However, I don’t agree that one of the smallest states in the country has to be a world leader in this arena.  I am concerned that Vermonters cannot afford to expand these programs.

Gun control has once again taken center stage.  A firearms demonstration with several different types of weapons was displayed at the Statehouse on Friday after a new gun control bill was proposed.  I have received numerous emails opposing all gun control proposals.  At this time, I have no intention of supporting any gun control proposal.           

I look forward to representing you and your concerns in Montpelier.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. I am very interested in hearing from you.  During the session, I can be reached at the Statehouse by calling 1-800-322-5616 or by cell at 373-5960. My email address is dturner@leg.state.vt.us. My web-site address is www.donturnerjr.com. Thank you and have a great week.

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