As the legislative session winds down, tensions ran high in the State Senate. The House advanced a bill that requires health insurance companies to disclose claims they’ve denied. Legislators continued to try to bridge a strong difference of opinion on whether to keep or remove the philosophical exemption to the childhood immunization law. Governor Peter Shumlin says the state has made progress in reducing the prison population and cutting crime. And the Senate approved an amendment to give CVPS customers a $21 million refund when the company is sold and then merged with Green Mountain Power.
These were some of the voices in the news this week.
Senator Dick Sears: "Quite frankly Mr. President the level of discourse in this chamber and the level of collegiality has sunk to new lows in my opinion. Thank you."
Cassandra Gekas: "What this bill is going to do is for the first time require insurance companies to report to the state of Vermont how many claims they deny, which up until now has not been reported at all or been part of any regulatory process in the state."
Rutland senator, Kevin Mulllin: "The real problem is that if you’re going to protect kids it doesn’t matter if the statewide threshold is at 95 percent if there’s particular school that has it at 75 percent," Mullin said. "And so that was the theory is that if your child who has been fully immunized is in a school that’s way below the herd immunity thresholds then there ought to be some way to kick in the suspension of the exemption for that particular district."
Governor Peter Shumlin: "We are winning this war on recidivism by a very thoughtful approach of ensuring that we have the programs, preventative programs in our communities, drug and alcohol counseling, housing, education, job training, internships to ensure that we stop the revolving door back into prison."
Peter Galbraith: "When the ratepayers loan money to a financially troubled utility to bail it out for bad decisions they’ve made, and it’s agreed that that money should be paid back, that money in fact should be paid back."