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Governor Peter Shumlin in June 2012. Photo: <a href="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Peter_Shumlin_2012.jpg">Community College of Vermont</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Governor Peter Shumlin in June 2012. Photo: Community College of Vermont, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Vermont Gov. Shumlin to outline priorities in speech

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is going to outline his priorities for the 2014 legislative session.

Shumlin is scheduled to address a joint session of the House and Senate in the House chamber on Wednesday afternoon.

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Tuesday was the first day of the 2014 legislative session.

Lawmakers will be grappling with how to close a projected $70 million budget shortfall this year and legislative leaders say they're committed to seeking solutions for the state's growing problem with the abuse of opium-based drugs such as heroin or illegally diverted prescription drugs.

Lawmakers also will be expected to work out more details of the state's commitment to creating the nation's first single-payer health care system by 2017.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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