In Irene’s Shadow, Vt. Legislature Adjourns

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The 2012 legislative session came to an end Saturday night. It was a session dominated by the state’s multi-faceted response to Tropical Storm Irene and a controversy involving the merger between the state’s two largest utilities.

Lawmakers were on track to adjourn Friday night but a disagreement over a bill to require non-union teachers and municipal employees to pay union fees delayed their schedule. In the end, legislative leaders decided not to act on this issue.

The budget, the transportation bill and the Capital bill all included important provisions to help the state recover from Tropical Storm Irene.

In his closing remarks, Gov. Peter Shumlin said the state was making a strong comeback from the destruction of Irene.

"We have much more work to do, but in terms of delivering on that promise doing everything within your power: mission accomplished. I’m proud of you," Shumlin told lawmakers.

House Speaker Shap Smith also praised his colleagues for passing a health care bill that will create a consumer marketplace Exchange in two years and will allow many individuals and small businesses to be eligible for federal tax credits.

"In 2014, many of our citizens will have help in paying for their health care premiums and we should be proud of that work," Smith said.

Lawmakers set a date later this month to return to the Statehouse in the event that the Governor vetoes any bills in the coming weeks.

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