Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WVTK Local & State News March 12, 2014

The snow started this morning and it isn't expected to stop until tomorrow afternoon. This winter blast could rack up the highest snow totals of the season. The storm was already causing traffic troubles. Vermont State Police say there have been a number of crashes and spin-offs. And driving conditions are expected to get worse throughout the evening. From time to time tonight, there could be white-out conditions.

Vermont lawmakers are starting to tackle child abuse issues in the wake of 2-year-old Dezirae Sheldon’s death. State senators are reviewing possible revisions to statutory practices involving child abuse matters, not specifics of Dezirae’s case. Today, lawmakers heard testimony from Department for Children and Families Deputy Commissioner Cindy Walcott about the legal backdrop for child welfare in the state. Senator Peg Flory, a Republican from Pittsford, says the committee will be looking at if there are any systemic failures in the child protection system.

The Vermont Senate has loosened restrictions on the state's medical marijuana dispensaries. The bill passed yesterday allows an unlimited number of qualified Vermonters to access medical marijuana, removing the previous 1,000 patient cap. The bill also gives the green light for the state to open two more dispensaries, offer patients edibles, and increase the per patient pot amounts from 2 to 4 ounces. The bill now heads to the Vermont House.

A certain bill now in the House has riled some Vermont State College students who say lawmakers need to move on and approve it. The bill, which was already passed by the state Senate last session, would mean Vermont would contribute more to state colleges. While the state currently contributes 15-percent, the bill reverts spending back to 1980 levels which was 51-percent. Students gathered at the Vermont Statehouse Tuesday demanding the bill’s passage, but as for now, it remains in a House committee.