Use Of iPad In Statehouse Debate At Issue

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iPad computer tablets have begun popping up on lawmakers’ desks in the ornate, 19th-century Vermont House chamber, as have new questions about whether it’s OK to use them to get answers to questions during debate.

The issue flared up last week as the House debated a complicated bill designed to set up a new health insurance marketplace exchange.

Critics of the legislation were asking pointed questions of House Health Care Committee Chairman Mike Fisher. As he answered them, Fisher glanced frequently at the iPad on his desk. Later he said he was getting some help with answers from Robin Lunge, Governor Peter Shumlin’s director of health care reform.

Republicans have complained about that, and House Speaker Shap Smith says he’ll ask the Rules Committee to review the matter.

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