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Dem lawmakers embark on collision course
Last legislative session, he and Democrats negotiated over a variety of proposals from energy legislation to health care reform, and compromised on some laws. He expects the same thing will happen next year, Douglas said.
what I have been hearing as election noise," she said.
Douglas and Symington said they are encouraged that both Democratic lawmakers and the governor have identified property taxes and economic prosperity as important issues.
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Gov. James Douglas received what he described as "a mandate" Tuesday when he won re election with 57 percent of the vote. He promised to advance the "agenda of affordability" on which he campaigned including lowering property taxes and to push again for civil commitment of some sexually violent offenders.
Symington acknowledged that in the past, even when she thought there was a compromise worked out, the House and the governors' office came to an impasse.
"He has to realize we have an agenda, too," she said.
Douglas said the Democrats' veto proof majority in the House again, assuming they are able to ally with Progressives and independents will not dramatically change the political landscape.
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Democratic Speaker of the House Gaye Symington of Jericho said her caucus is willing to work with the governor under certain conditions.
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MONTPELIER Vermont voters this week set two trains on the same track and sent them rolling toward each other. They will collide in January.
"We do have philosophical differences," Symington said.
"I expect he might change that way of operating," she said. "If we want to go at it mandate to mandate we can do that.".
"It's a little bit different than the numbers in the Legislature last year," he said. "There certainly was a Democratic tide nationally and we felt some of that here."
The new state House of Representatives will have 93 Democrats, 49 Republicans, six Progressives and two independents. The Democrats have 23 of the 30 seats in the Senate.
"At least we share on objective," Douglas said. "It's important to begin with the same goals and that is what the speaker is saying.""I think you will see an immediate focus on property taxes," Symington said. "That is clearly on the minds of Vermonters."
talked about past compromises and promised to work together it's far from clear if that optimism will survive the heat of the Legislative session.
Symington said Democrats in the House, many of whom remember being in the minority, do not want to return to a situation where, as she put it, "we were in a defensive mode." But, Symington added, "Democrats are independent thinkers".
Douglas talked about lowering property taxes by cutting the cost of schools, which he said is growing at an unsustainable rate. He has proposed a cap on property taxes in the Womens Nike Air Max Trainers past, and he will do so again, he said. Some districts will have to make the difficult decision to close schools as enrollment drops, he added.
But Democratic lawmakers say they received a mandate of their own. Republicans lost seats in both the Senate and the House on Election Day and if House Democrats can form a coalition with the Progressives and independents they will have a veto proof majority in both bodies.
Symington, on the other hand, talked about making investments in the state. Her "blueprint for prosperity" is aimed at reducing the gap between Vermonters with the highest incomes and those with the lowest.
Symington and Douglas both pointed out that it may have been easier to gain the large Democratic majority than to keep it.
But both acknowledged that Douglas and Democratic lawmakers have somewhat different approaches to solving the state's problems.
"I wouldn't assume all Democratic legislators are of the same mind," Douglas said.
Some of the combative talk by Republicans Douglas included during the year should not be taken too seriously, Symington said.
Both Douglas and the Democrats agree that the upcoming Legislative session, and next year's political discourse, likely will be dominated by money. Property taxes, school spending and economic growth are likely to be at the top of the agenda.
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