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The Vermont Legislature is going to focus its efforts during the 2014 session on erasing a projected $70 million state budget shortfall and helping the state get a handle on the growing abuse of opium-based drugs, something that is wrecking lives and driving crime, Senate and House leaders said Friday.
Democratic House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell said committees in each chamber would begin work Tuesday.
‘‘Every day we’re here costs taxpayers money,’’ said Campbell, of Windsor County. ‘‘I want to get the job done and then go back to our homes and not cost them any more money than we have to.’’