- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - With just days left on the 2014 Vermont legislative schedule, House and Senate lawmakers are at odds over a top priority of Gov. Peter Shumlin: getting nonviolent criminal defendants with drug problems into treatment, rather than on a path to jail.

The Senate on Tuesday declined to go along with House proposals of amendment on what some are calling the pre-trial screening bill.

The effort to move some defendants from the criminal justice system into drug treatment has been pushed by Shumlin as a way to address Vermont’s growing abuse of heroin and other opiate drugs.

Shumlin says he’ll work with the conference committee to ensure the bill passes this week.

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