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Vermont lawmakers face busy session

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The Vermont legislature convened in Montpelier yesterday for the first day of the 2012 legisaltive session. It's session is expected to be a busy one, with lawmakers determining how to fill a multi-million dollar budget gap and recover from Tropical Storm Irene.

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Sarah Harris
Reporter and Producer

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Anne Galloway is founder of VTdigger.org, an investigative news website focused on politics. She says the legislative session will include a number of big decisions.  

“Reapportionment will be a big issue, redistricting. The state hospital has to be replaced so they have to make decisions about that, the state office complex has to be replaced because of the floods, there are going to be decisions made about stream bed management after Irene,” Galloway said.   

 The Vermont lawmakers were greeted with some good fiscal news. The Legislature's Joint Fiscal Office reduced its estimate of a budget gap next fiscal year from nearly $75 million to about $46 million. Budget analysts credit lowered projections for spending on the Medicaid public health insurance program for low-income residents.

A top budget official in the Shumlin administration, Finance and Management Commissioner Jim Reardon, says he's not surprised by the lower estimate. But he says he hasn't analyzed the new estimate and can't say if the administration agrees with it.

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