- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Driving with a cellphone to an ear would be banned under Vermont law effective Oct. 1, under a bill that looks likely to become law.

Meanwhile, budget negotiators said Wednesday they still did not have agreement on a spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1, and an effort to consolidate Vermont school districts appeared to be fizzling.

Those developments came as lawmakers spent another day in overdrive, trying to complete their work for the year by this weekend.

On the cellphone ban, Gov. Peter Shumlin appeared to be softening in his opposition, saying he appreciated lawmakers’ decision that violators would face fines but not points on their drivers’ licenses.

The Senate was to take final action on the cellphone ban on Thursday.

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