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Legislative Notes for April 18, 2013

April 14, 2013

The most controversial bill that passed the House this week was H.200 decriminalization of marijuana. After several hours of debate, the bill which imposes a fine for people caught possessing one ounce or less of marijuana passed. The floor debate lasted several hours and it was surprising to see members who have supported smoking and alcohol cessation programs over the years stand up and express their support for this bill. I was also disappointed that the education and medical community as well as the American Lung Association decided to remain silent on this issue. However, the law enforcement community, unlike what was reported in the news was solidly united against passage of this bill and for that reason I could not support it.

I failed to report last week that the Capital Construction bill that passed the House proposes a total of $660,000 over two years for Milton Town School District. This is the outstanding balance that the state owes the district for the wood chip plants. I reached out to the school district to see how this will impact their budget discussions but, have not heard back as of this point. I hope that the School Trustees and the Administration will utilize these unanticipated funds in a manner that provides the greatest benefit for the students and taxpayers.

Over fifty years ago Milton resident Alton Lombard Sr lost his life assisting the Vermont State Police in recovering the body of a person who had fallen through the ice while fishing. Alton’s body has never been recovered and the State of Vermont had never expressed its appreciation to his family. On Friday, Representative Hubert and I had the pleasure of hosting his wife Sally and their daughter Maria and her husband John Gifford, son Alton ll and his wife Kate and son Andre and wife Julie along with several State Police Officers. They attended the session to witness the adoption of a Legislative resolution recognizing Alton Lombard Sr. It was my honor to have this resolution prepared and adopted to express our sincere appreciation for Mr Lombard’s actions all those years ago. I hope this legislative action helps express Vermont’s appreciation and brings closure to the family.

I look forward to representing you and your concerns in Montpelier. Your input is very important to me, so please feel free to contact me at the Statehouse. 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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