Montage: Voices in the Week's News

05/02/08 12:51PM By Patti Daniels
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As the Legislature heads for adjournment this weekend, the news this week was busy with stories on legislative action. The economic stimulus plan, exceptions to the billboard law, toxic plastics in baby toys and the mechanism for raising school budgets were debated. Vermont Yankee's decommissioning fund, food stamp usage and school test scores were also on people's minds.

These were some of the voices in the news this week:


Democrats reach agreement with Douglas on economic stimulus package

(Speaker Gaye Symington) "It's very clear to me that Governor Douglas is looking to make this the focus of the end of the session, and to turn our good work into an argument over the sales tax holiday."

(Governor Jim Douglas) "... or that it was somehow a distraction. But this is a good example of what state government can achieve when all points are considered. Strengthening the economy is the top priority and progress triumphs over partisanship.''

NRC says Yankee may not be able to tap decommissioning fund

(NRC spokeswoman Diane Screnci) "We haven't finished our review of the plan. But I can tell you that the regulations require that the funds be used for decommissioning purposes only."

Food prices rise, demand for Food Stamps up

(Robert Dostis, Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger) "Families are being put in the position to use what little discretionary money they have for food to cover those other expenses: a roof over their head, and gas for their cars and heating their homes."

Third of Vermont's schools fail to increase test scores

(Steve Perkins, incoming superintendent of Winooski schools) "We need to first identify which students didn't do well on a test, if there's a certain group of students. Then we need to plan special programs that will help them to bring up their test scores."

Opponents of 'two vote' school budget push for repeal

(Senator Dick McCormack) "The two-vote implies that school boards are not doing their job. And I think they are and it's really an insult to the school boards and for that matter to the local voters."

Proposed exemption for Bellows Falls mural worries enforcement agencies

(John LaBarge, Agency of Transportation) "I think one of the fears they had was that this is going to be the beginning of the end of the billboard law. And so therefore we end up with a large proliferation of these signs across the state, and there's nothing that would stop that."

House approves bill banning phthalates in baby toys

(Rep. Norman McAllister) "I got my rubber ducky here. (squeaks) It was said in one of the reports we saw that a person would have to consume 3,400 of these .... I'm thinking maybe before they got all the way through that they'd have a bowel obstruction."



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