Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday he has vetoed two bills that would have let noncitizen residents of Montpelier and Winooski vote in local elections. However, he signed H.430, which will create a program similar to Dr. Dynasaur so undocumented immigrant children and pregnant woman can obtain health insurance coverage.
“This is an important policy discussion that deserves further consideration and debate. Allowing a highly variable town-by-town approach to municipal voting creates inconsistency in election policy, as well as separate and unequal classes of residents potentially eligible to vote on local issues. I believe it is the role of the Legislature to establish clarity and consistency on this matter. This should include defining how municipalities determine which legal residents may vote on local issues, as well as specifying the local matters they may vote on. Returning these bills provides the opportunity to do this important work.
“For these reasons I am returning this legislation without my signature pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution. I understand these charter changes are well-intentioned, but I ask the Legislature to revisit the issue of non-citizen voting in a more comprehensive manner and develop a statewide policy or a uniform template and process for those municipalities wishing to grant the right of voting in local elections to all legal residents.”
On June 1, Scott returned without signature and vetoed bills of the following titles:
- H.177, An act relating to approval of an amendment to the charter of the City of Montpelier
- H.227, An act relating to approval of amendments to the charter of the City of Winooski
To view a complete list of action on bills passed during the 2021 legislative session, click here.