Tag Archives: Adam Greshin

Baruth withdraws proposed assault weapons ban, but gun-control debate lives on

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff  Photo                           Tim Griswold of Rutland wraps himself in a flag during a rally in support of gun rights at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Saturday afternoon.

Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / Staff Photo
Tim Griswold of Rutland wraps himself in a flag during a rally in support of gun rights at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Saturday afternoon.

Reported first by Green Mountain Daily’s Ed Garcia and confirmed first by Paul Heintz at Seven Days, Sen. Philip Baruth says he’ll withdraw a proposed ban on assault weapons.

Baruth’s proposal fueled a groundswell of opposition that erupted Saturday in Montpelier, when about 250 Vermonters rallied on the steps of the Statehouse in support of the Second Amendment. In a statement provided to Heintz, Baruth said “it is painfully clear to me now that little support exists in the Vermont Statehouse for this sort of bill.”

“It’s equally clear that focusing the debate on the banning of a certain class of weapons may already be overshadowing measures with greater consensus, like tightening background checks, stopping the exchange of guns for drugs, and closing gun show loopholes,” Baruth said.

Elected last month to serve as majority leader of the 23-member Senate Democratic caucus, Baruth also said “I owe it to my caucus to remove an issue that seems increasingly likely to complicate our shared agenda this biennium.”

Baruth’s decision to withdraw S32, however, won’t table the gun-control issue in Montpelier this year. Over in the House, Reps. Linda Waite-Simpson, an Essex Junction Democrat, and Adam Greshin, a Warren Independent, are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a piece of legislation that will, most controversially, seek to ban ammunition clips containing more than 10 rounds.

Continue reading

Debate over vaccine bill takes interesting financial twist

Until now, the debate over whether to revoke the philosophical exemption in Vermont’s immunization laws has centered largely on competing views of social justice. The argument could soon turn to dollars and cents, however, as school districts begin to consider the financial impact of reduced enrollment.

At a special meeting last week, members of the Waitsfield Elementary School Board pondered the toll of the proposed legislation on their student count. With 12 children enrolled in Waitsfield under the philosophical exemption – about 8 percent of the entire student population – board members say the bill could deal a blow to the balance sheets.

States can’t force parents to get their kids vaccinated, but they can make it a prerequisite for attending public or private school. Every child entering kindergarten in Vermont must be inoculated against eight communicable diseases, including measles, mumps, polio and chicken pox.

Rather than acquiesce with the proposed legislation, however, school officials worry parents may simply pull their children from school altogether, and educate them at home.

“While I can not predict what people will do, some families have indicated that they are firmly committed to that philosophical exemption and should they lose such an option, they will have no choice but to withdraw from our school,” Kaiya Korb, principal at Waitsfield Elementary, said in an email.

Finley said she doesn’t anticipate any substantial impacts on student enrollment. But Rep. Adam Greshin, an Independent fromWarren, said he believes state officials are underestimating the intensity of many parents’ convictions.

“Schools like Waitsfield are already struggling with declining enrolment, and this legislation will accelerate it,” Greshin said. “If supporters of this bill think that parents are going to just throw in the towel and bring their children to the doctor to get immunized, they’re wrong.”

You can read more about the debate in tomorrow’s Times Argus and rutland Herald.