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Newscast: Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 12:04 p.m.

Vermont environmental groups and some northeastern Vermont land owners are hailing a ruling that the state's Act 250 land use law applies to the possible reversal of flow in the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line.

Senator Patrick Leahy says he’s hopeful that Congress can pass a meaningful immigration reform bill this session, and as chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee he’s scheduled a public hearing on the bill on Wednesday. 

The Vermont House is expected to give final approval to a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana.

Governor Peter Shumlin says Vermont has offered help to Massachusetts law enforcement in the aftermath of the explosions during the Boston Marathon; meanwhile, flags have been lowered to half staff.