While the governor fought criticism of his plan to change the low-income tax credit, there were others issues at the Statehouse this week. The annual Doyle Survey showed support for decriminalizing marijuana, and treatments for Lyme Disease became a subject of legislative debate. FEMA said updating Vermont flood maps is a low priority. The House passed a bill to ban wild boar. And industrial maple sugaring operations were at work.
These were some of the voices in the news this week:
(Governor Peter Shumlin) "People speak about this as if we're asking low income people to pay for it. The Earned Income Tax Credit is paid for by all the other taxpayers in the state of Vermont just like any program to help people out of poverty."
(Senator Tim Ashe) "It is impossible to say that someone making $20,000 a year can fork over a thousand and somebody making $200,000 can't. It's just beyond the pale."
(Sen. Bill Doyle) "I think most people get it, instead of having a penalty for life on your record you could pay a civil fine and that's why I think there's more support for decriminalization than for legalization."
(Grace McGrath, Lyme disease sufferer) "If I had followed the recommendations of the doctors that I initially saw I can't imagine where I would be today. I would not be working. I would not be functioning."
(Michael Goetz, FEMA's mapping program for New England) "Congress recently told us that we need to focus most of our attention on mapping all of the populated coastline in the United States. The priorities have been those watersheds that have a very high flood risk, lots of people, lots of property exposed to the flood hazard and to the coastal areas."
(Williston Democrat Jim McCullough) "Wild hogs are an invasive species, reproduce rapidly and are known to cause significant damage."
(J.R. Sloan) "The second year we did 22,000 taps, the third year we boiled 45,000 taps in that little building. Then we made enough money to put toward that new facility. And when we went with the new facility we went with 70,000 taps. Then we had the worst year ever last year. This year is going ok."