Speaker insists Vermont Legislature will go home May 7

first_imgAnne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.org by Anne Galloway, www.vtdigger.org(link is external) April 27, 2011 Spring is in the air, and the internal atmosphere of the Golden Bubble is a little odd at the moment. Lawmakers have finished their hardest exams (the budget, tax and health care bills), but they still have all these assignments left that must be finished in order to avoid getting an incomplete. That doesn’t mean there won’t be changes made to bills in conference or that there won’t be differences of opinion over legislation that is still in motion on the House and Senate sides over the next 10 days.But, Smith said, ‘I don’t think we’ve seen the bill that could blow up.’The bills still in the hopper most likely to launch a volley once they’re in play: telecomm, energy, recidivism and the jobs bill. Several issues attached to those bills, namely a retroactive current use penalty reversal for a logging violation by the national corporation Plum Creek, and the governor’s plan to fund the Clean Energy Development Fund using a grant program instead of a tax credit could be trouble.Smith says it all comes down to timing. He’d like to get the energy and jobs bills out, but he seemed to indicate there could be a few incompletes in the offing. ‘Time is getting short,’ Smith said. ‘Energy is currently on the list. I hope it will pass.’There are still a number of items to check off the list, including the medical marijuana dispensaries bill (passed by the Senate, passed out of House Human Services on Tuesday, 8-2), the public records bill (expected to come out of Senate Government Operations today), the open meeting bill (passed by the Senate, now in the House), the palliative care bill (passed by the House, now in the Senate), and the childcare worker unionization bill. The latter, which Smith supports, is expected out of committee next Monday, whether it will meet muster before adjournment is an open question.Smith said he will ask lawmakers in the House to come in on Monday, which they typically have off, in order to make the May 7 deadline.Them’s the rulesThe House GOP, is small (48 members) and consequently unable to turn bills, but at the beginning of the session, Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton, minority leader, and Rep. Patti Komline, R-Dorset, assistant minority leader, made two demands of the Democratic leadership that have had lasting impact. One was a requirement that every bill come with a ‘fiscal note,’ a rundown of any budgetary impacts a piece of legislation might have from the Vermont Joint Fiscal Office.The second is a 24-hour rule for all legislation that comes to the floor. By rule, that’s the standard time in which legislation must be presented to members. Typically, though, as is the case in the Senate, rules are suspended in the interest of expediency. Turner has said members need a full day to read bills before they come to a vote.The House GOP has said, in no uncertain terms, that it will not allow the House Democratic leadership to suspend the rules to rush bills through the same day. Period. And, because the House needs a three-quarters majority to do so, it can’t move to suspend without GOP votes.A case in point? The health care reform bill, H.202, which was held up today because the House GOP wouldn’t suspend the rules to allow the bill to go to conference committee.House Speaker Shap Smith said his schedule has built-in the 24-hour rule in place.Turner is unshakable on this score. If it gets late in the session, and rule suspensions are called for to meet the May 7 deadline for adjournment, too bad. They remain immutable. ‘The Speaker controls the schedule,’ Turner said. ‘If bills sat in committee for three to four months we get blamed ‘ then we hear you didn’t suspend the rules, so it’s your fault.’Both the House and the Senate have named ‘conferees,’ or the representatives for conference committee.Another sticking point between the Speaker and the minority party is likely to be the appointees for the health care conference committee. Turner wants to make sure there is a GOPer in the mix, and he seems to think the Speaker won’t name a Republican on the committee. (Smith has yet to name the members.)Turner is ready to invoke the Mason’s legislative manual and call for a point of order if the Speaker makes that omission.Is the Speaker required to name a member of the minority party on conference committees? No, according to Smith. Will he name a Republican to the committee? ‘Someone from their team should have voted for the bill,’ is his ready response. Mason’s rules are trumped by the practice of the House, and in practice, lawmakers from the minority party who voted for the bill are appointed. Problem is, not a single member of the House GOP cast a yea for H.202. Smith said to expect a skirmish over that one.Turner points to an exception in 2009 when Rep. John Morley was named to the budget conference, even though he voted against it. Smith said he broke with practice that one time because he needed someone on the committee who could communicate directly with the administration ‘ the year the House overrode the budget over Republican Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto.Here’s a list of the conferees for the money bills.AppropriationsHouse: Heath, Johnson, Acinapura (R)Senate: Kitchel, Sears, Snelling (R)Miscellaneous taxHouse: Ancel, Branagan (R), SharpeSenate: Cummings, MacDonald, Ashe (P/D)Capital construction billHouse: Emmons, Myers (R), HooperSenate: Harwell, Mazza, Benning (R) last_img read more

Sex clinics treating more youngsters

first_imgHerald on Sunday 9 Oct 2011STIs such as herpes, gonorrhea, genital warts, syphilis and chlamydia (the most common STI in teenagers) are on the rise. So are the numbers of young teenagers catching them. The figures make sobering reading. Last year, 134 New Zealand children aged 10 to 14 caught chlamydia. The figure leapt to an alarming 3203 in the 15- to 19-year age group with the infection after contracting it from their mothers. Sex education has been compulsory in all schools for 10 years now, but in that time New Zealand’s teenage STI and pregnancy rates have continued to climb. A national survey by the Adolescent Health Research Group at Auckland University shows that almost 11 per cent of children under 14 are sexually active.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10757558last_img read more

UNC gets ugly win vs. Duke

first_imgTyler Hansbrough had 26 points and 17 rebounds before suffering an ugly injury in the closing seconds of No. 8 North Carolina’s 86-72 victory over 14th-ranked Duke on Sunday, clinching the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament. Senior Reyshawn Terry added 15 points in his final home game for the Tar Heels (25-6, 11-5), who swept the regular-season series with the Blue Devils for the first time in 11 years, avoided their first three-game slide under Roy Williams and gave the homespun coach his 100th victory at his alma mater. WOMEN No. 3 Connecticut 74, South Florida 54: Charde Houston scored 19 points in the Big East conference tournament opener for the Huskies (28-2) in Hartford, Conn. No. 4 North Carolina 60, No. 24 North Carolina State 54: Ivory Latta scored 20 points, becoming North Carolina’s career scoring leader, as the Tar Heels (30-3) won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship game in Greensboro, N.C., over the Wolfpack (24-8). No. 5 Ohio St. 73, Penn St. 71 (OT): Jessica Davenport scored a season-high 32 points to rally the Buckeyes (28-2) in the Big Ten tournament semifinals in Indianapolis. Saint Joseph’s 57, No. 8 George Washington 55: Whitney Ffrench scored 14 points, and the Hawks pulled off their biggest upset in 15 years, beating the Colonials (26-3) in the Atlantic 10 tournament semifinals in Cincinnati. No. 9 Arizona State 60, California 53: Kirsten Thompson scored 14 points, leading the Sun Devils (28-3) into the Pac-10 tournament title game in San Jose. No. 13 Vanderbilt 51, No. 11 LSU 45: Dee Davis scored 19 points to lead the Commodores (28-5) over the Tigers (26-7) in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game in Duluth, Ga. No. 15 Purdue 64, No. 22 Michigan St. 61: Katie Gearlds scored 17 points and the Boilermakers (27-5) rallied to beat the Spartans (23-8) in the Big Ten tournament semifinals. No. 18 Rutgers 63, DePaul 55: Matee Ajavon scored 21 points for the Scarlet Knights (20-8) in a Big East tournament quarterfinal. No. 20 Louisville 68, West Virginia 56: Angel McCoughtry scored 26 points for the Cardinals (26-6) in a Big East tournament quarterfinal game. No. 23 Marquette 61, Pittsburgh 51: Christina Quaye had 18 points to lead the Golden Eagles (25-5) in the Big East tournament quarterfinals. Gonzaga 64, Loyola Marymount 47: Stephanie Hawk had 17 points and 12 rebounds and the Bulldogs knocked off the Lions in the championship game of the West Coast Conference women’s basketball tournament in Portland, Ore., and earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. East Carolina 79, Rice 70: Jasmine Young scored 23 points to help the Lady Pirates (19-13) win the Conference USA tournament final in Tulsa, Okla., and earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament. Marist 64, Iona 57 (OT): Meg Dahlman scored a season-high 21 points for the Red Foxes (27-5) in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship in Bridgeport, Conn., as they secured a bid to the NCAA Tournament. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Greg Paulus had 21 points before fouling out for the Blue Devils (22-9, 8-8). No. 5 Florida 85, Kentucky 72: Joakim Noah and Taurean Green scored 17 points apiece to help the host Gators (26-5, 13-3) make history by becoming the first Southeastern Conference team to win six in a row against the Wildcats. No. 16 Louisville 86, Seton Hall 71: Edgar Sosa scored 18 points to lead five Louisville players in double figures and the Cardinals (22-8, 12-4) clinched second place in the Big East. Clemson 75, No. 21 Virginia Tech 74: K.C. Rivers scored 22 points, including the decisive basket with 18 seconds remaining, to lead the visiting Tigers (21-9, 7-9) over the Hokies (20-10, 10-6). Creighton 67, No. 11 Southern Illinois 61: Anthony Tolliver had 15 points to help the Bluejays (22-10) upset the Salukis (27-6) in the championship game of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament in St. Louis, earning Creighton its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance in nine years. center_img But perhaps the lasting image of the latest renewal of college basketball’s most intense rivalry will be Hansbrough’s bloodied face. He leaped for a layup with 14.5 seconds left, but after the ball left his hand he was struck in the face by Gerald Henderson’s right elbow. Hansbrough crumpled to the ground, his nose bleeding profusely, and he was restrained from the Duke players as he was being escorted to the locker room. The officials reviewed the play and ejected Henderson, then said he would be suspended for one game. last_img read more