Shumlin, who is a long-time supporter of assisted suicide and received money from the assisted suicide lobby during his 2010 leadership campaign, stated in 2011 and 2012 that the Vermont legislature would legalize assisted suicide and both attempts failed.
The Barre Montpelier Times Argus reported in an article published today by Peter Hirshfeld that:
From “death with dignity” to marijuana decriminalization, Gov. Peter Shumlin on Tuesday said he aims to seal the deal on several notable pieces of unfinished business from the last legislative biennium.
“I’m confident that regardless of who leads the various bodies in the Legislature, that we can pass decriminalization of marijuana, death with dignity and the (unionization) bill for child care workers,” he said. “We’re going to get them done.”
Governor Peter Shumlin
Key lawmakers aren’t so sure.
Sen. John Campbell, the Windsor County Democrat nominated to a second term as Senate president by his party colleagues Tuesday afternoon, was the Statehouse’s most prominent opponent of the child care unionization bill and legislation that would let terminally ill patients get a prescription that would end their lives. He said Tuesday his positions on those issues have not evolved in recent months, and that he’s not convinced either has the support needed to make it through the Legislature.
Campbell, however, said he won’t try to squelch a vote on any end-of-life legislation. In fact, he said the topic in 2013 will receive more attention from Senate committees than it did in either of the last two sessions.
“I recognize that this issue is not going to go away, and if the majority of people want to have a debate, then that debate should happen,” he said.
Campbell said he envisions joint hearings of Senate committees on the judiciary and health and welfare. He said the hearings come in response to requests for additional debate from people on both sides of the issue.
“If it passes, it passes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t,” Campbell said. “But I think everyone involved in this conversation agrees there are issues that need to be vetted, so I think it’s worth taking the time to vet them.”At the same time Vermont Public Radio reported that Shumlin is seeking to eliminate the deficit in 2013 through budget cuts and not tax increases. The report stated:
The Shumlin Administration is in the process of drafting its budget for next year and the Governor says he's asking all agencies and departments of state government to submit a level funded spending plan for policy makers to consider.
Shumlin says the state once again faces a sizeable gap between available revenue and budget demands and he says the solution is not to increase any broad based taxes.
"We've got some tough fiscal times that need to be dealt with once again," said Shumlin. "I was hoping that we wouldn't be back here dealing with another $50 million to $70 million budget deficit, we are, and I'm going to be presenting a budget that's going to ask the Legislature to once again balance the budget the old fashioned way by making tough spending choices not raising broad based taxes."Shumlin will be required to reduce the budget through cuts to health care spending. Shumlin made a similar proposal in 2011 that included cuts to health care spending.
Sadly, many people believe that legalizing assisted suicide is a good idea rather than providing access to dignified care and medical support.
I predict that True Dignity Vermont will once again rally Vermont citizens to oppose the legalization of assisted suicide and the Vermont legislature will once again defeat the assisted suicide bill.