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Newscast: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 7:34 a.m.

Governor Peter Shumlin says heroin use in Vermont has become a major public health crisis and he outlined a four-point plan to deal with the crisis in his State of the State address yesterday. Republicans in the Statehouse say they welcome Governor Shumlin’s focus on the opiate problem in Vermont, but they want more details about how he plans to pay for more aggressive treatment programs. Lawmakers began their work in Montpelier this week by taking aim at the many problems facing homeless and impoverished Vermonters. The Vermont Department of Labor is scrambling to find alternative safety nets for 650 Vermonters who lost their federal unemployment benefits at the end of 2013.