Joe Benning | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Joe Benning 
Member since Jun 5, 2015



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Re: “Bill to Create Waiting Period for Gun Sales Advances in Senate

Tiki Archambeau: Last year victim's rights groups made it very clear to us that the most dangerous time in a domestic violence victim's life are the five days immediately following a breakup. For that reason I worked very hard (with them) to develop H.441, a bill that enabled a court to immediately remove weapons from the household of a domestic violence situation and keep them out of the hands of the abuser. My efforts centered around ensuring there was due process involved when such an order was issued. Eventually the bill passed unanimously through the Senate, almost so in the House and was signed by the Governor.

I acknowledge that presence of guns increases the likelihood of lethal results. But some of those victims choose to immediately buy their own handgun for self-protection just in case the abuser returns to abuse them in spite of a court order. Self defense is a right specifically provided by our state constitution in Article 16. The most common weapon of self defense is a handgun. I take an oath upon election to do no thing injurious to that constitution.

As I saw it today, we impeded that victim's constitutional right on the speculative hope (and even though I voted against it I truly do hope it works) that it "might" prevent the suicide of someone else. I'm uncomfortable making that leap.

I agree with you that impulse buying can be a lethal choice, but who's choice is that to make when it comes to dealing with one's own body- government's or the individual's? I'll be asking that question again soon when we debate reproductive rights. I'll be interested in hearing your thoughts then.

39 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Joe Benning on 03/15/2019 at 7:43 PM

Re: “Our Towns: Can Rural Vermont Communities Survive in the Age of Amazon and Act 46?

I'd like to thank Seven Days for leaving its normal comfort zone to closely examine life's challenges in rural Vermont.

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joe Benning on 12/05/2018 at 4:34 PM

Re: “A Cluster of Northeast Kingdom Towns Copes with Consolidation

I'd like to thank Seven Days for stepping out of its normal comfort zone to closely examine what is happening to life in rural Vermont.

9 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Joe Benning on 12/05/2018 at 2:51 PM

Re: “How the Green Mountain 'Baby Bust' Is Changing One Vermont Town

I'd like to thank Seven Days for stepping out of its normal comfort zone to closely examine what is happening to life in rural Vermont.

26 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Joe Benning on 12/05/2018 at 2:25 PM

Re: “Assigned Seats: Vermont Lawmakers Line Up for Leadership Roles


You will indeed be missed. I'll second Jim Condos' description of your "fair and balanced reporting," but also add that your interviewing technique has been a breath of fresh air. It seemed you always got the answers to questions you wanted without playing the "gotchya" game practiced by too many of your colleagues. Rather than place your subject in defense mode, you skillfully extracted what you needed by developing a rapport with the interviewee. I suspect you did that because you knew we all live in a small state. Hopefully those who follow you will pick that up as an eighth piece of advice.

Enjoy your travels, stay safe and, as always, happy writing!

Joe Benning
State Senator & Minority Leader
Caledonia District

17 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Joe Benning on 11/21/2018 at 12:13 PM

Re: “Walters: Scott, Hallquist Draw Clear Contrasts in Second Debate

Re: "He asserted that boosting the economy will bring organic wage growth instead of an "artificial" boost in the minimum wage. Which seems to be another way of saying "trickle down."

Re: "Scott agreed on the importance of broadband, but seemed to place it lower on the priority list than his general references to affordability. "

Re: "If you like what's been done over the past two years, Scott offers more of the same. Hallquist presents an ambitious agenda ...".

I forget John, are you writing a news column or a blog opinion column for Seven Days?

41 likes, 21 dislikes
Posted by Joe Benning on 10/11/2018 at 1:12 PM

Re: “Up in Smoke: What Turner and Zuckerman's Pot Plan Says About the Lt. Gov. Candidates

As one of the core group of legislators who have pushed for a properly taxed and regulated system from the beginning (a group that includes LG Zuckerman), as someone who has worked with the lobbyists quoted in this story, and as someone who has worked with Don Turner extensively in our respective roles as minority leader (he in the House; me in the Senate) I'd like to make a couple observations.

First, Don was opposed to legalization. But after it became law he told me he recognized that we needed to do it right and he'd decided to support the concept of taxing and regulating it. He took considerable heat from those in his caucus who remained opposed. His change in position was hardly a "political stunt." It was a sincere decision on his part to try and do what was best for Vermont given the new status of the law.

Second, I have to disagree with the opinion expressed by LG David Zuckerman that Don "single-handedly killed any chances of success." It was David who initially told me that Don had changed position. But the votes were not there, in either the Republican or Democrat caucuses. We all knew that. I recall David expressing hope for a shift when Don came out supporting tax and regulate, but I also recall being skeptical that enough votes could be changed that late in the session and saying so to David. It is not fair to place failure of this initiative at that time on Don's shoulders.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Joe Benning on 09/27/2018 at 11:48 AM

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