Lawmakers approve town-by-town masking policies

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TOWN BY TOWN: Vermont’s masking policy until April 30 will be decided by each community, as determined by select boards and city councils. A measure passed by both chambers of the Legislature on Monday was a compromise offered by Gov. Phil Scott, who opposed a statewide mandate.

Vermont state lawmakers came to Montpelier for a special session on Monday and passed a bill allowing towns to impose their own local mask mandates.

The Senate voted 17-10 in the morning, and the House in the late afternoon approved local masking in a 90-41 vote. Towns that impose mask mandates must renew every 30 days, and their power extends only to April 30.

Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock, R-Franklin, spoke via a Zoom Senate session about how current data shows mask mandates are not effective.

“Last Friday the New York Times published a CDC COVID-19 dashboard, and according to that dashboard over the last seven days, when looking at cases, hospitalization and death rates, there does not appear to be any present or convincing correlation between statewide mask mandates and better COVID metrics,” Brock said.

Brock shared some data concerning individual states.

“In terms of case rates, New Mexico, which does have a statewide mask mandate, is ranked second in the number of cases in the country,” he said. “Conversely, among states across the country with no statewide mask mandate, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida rank 46th, 47th, 48th, and 49th respectively in terms of hospitalizations.”

He also noted that the Vermont League of Cities and Towns never did survey members about their support for such a measure. He said that of the towns that he interacted with, only two supported local masking, and 68 towns were against it.

One proponent of mask mandates, Sen. Anthony Pollina, P/D-Washington, said he didn’t think a patchwork strategy at the local level was the right approach.

“First, local communities through their local health officers can today implement a citywide mask mandate — all they need is for the governor to approve their action,” he said. “So we are here today to give towns authority that they already have but the governor fails to recognize.”

Another person to vote against the bill was Sen. Cory Parent, R-Franklin.

“To me, this is sloppy legislation,” he said. “It’s not well thought out, and it’s not designed to help municipalities succeed. Whether it’s enforcement or any of these other measures, I remember when school districts were making this decision school district by school district a few months ago. The phone calls I was getting … [advocated for] a statewide policy to take the burden off of us.”

Rep. Vicki Strong, R, Albany, spoke on the House floor on how town mandates undermine the rights of private establishments.

“If a municipality votes to say these buildings need to have masks, their right is taken away as a private business from saying ‘I honor my constituents who shop here or whatever they do here.’ They want to make it open for people who don’t choose to wear masks, and now these businesses would be told you have to mandate mask-wearing,” she said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.
Images courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR and Public domain

11 thoughts on “Lawmakers approve town-by-town masking policies

  1. Save me a jail cell. I will not comply. This is wrong and un-American in every way. I will stand up for my rights and bodily autonomy. I will fight and die if i must to solidify our freedoms…none of you represent me.

  2. Human Nature:
    “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Sir Winston Churchill

    The Milgram Experiment redux:
    How Far Will You Go to Obey an Order?
    Understand the infamous study and its conclusions about human nature

    Milgram’s Famous Experiment:
    “In the most well-known version of Stanley Milgram’s experiment, the 40 male participants were told that the experiment focused on the relationship between punishment, learning, and memory. The experimenter then introduced each participant to a second individual, explaining that this second individual was participating in the study as well. Participants were told that they would be randomly assigned to roles of ‘teacher’ and ‘learner’. However, the “second individual” was an actor hired by the research team, and the study was set up so that the true participant would always be assigned to the ‘teacher’ role.”

    Our select boards and school boards have now been designated by the VT Legislature (‘the experimenters’) as the ‘teachers’ of we, the public. We, the public, are ‘the learners’.

    The question, today however, is not in determining how much pain ‘the experimenters’ and ‘the teachers’ will inflict on ‘the learners’ to make their point, but how long we, ‘the learners’, who are NOT ‘hired actors’ (as in the experiment) will submit to them.

    I suggest readers keep the answer to this question to themselves, for obvious reasons., but act according to our inalienable right to life and liberty. After all, what goes around, comes around.

    • The Milgram Experiment……What a gem. Columnist George Will on his best day couldn’t come up with a more remote and in this case perfect reference for the times and circumstances we’ve been experiencing.

      Beyond select boards and school boards, MSNBC anchors can be added to the list of teachers testing how much pain and propaganda can be tolerated before society is burned down……And it looks like MSNBC has exceeded the limits of tolerance as cities, police stations and businesses across the country have burned over the past couple of years……All with MSNBC anchors pouring on the voltage every morning, afternoon and night in the name of objectively reporting the news.

      Stanley Milgram would be impressed with the peaceful protestors following directions from Joy Reid, Nicole Wallace, Rachel Maddow and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

  3. This is seriously dumb. To actually expect those flimsy pieces of paper or cotton to protect from Covid? But the terrified sheep will now be demanding their cities and towns implement this “to keep them safe”.

    I for one will just do my shopping in towns that don’t give in to the fear mongering. And if the whole state goes this way I’ll just go to NH to get anything I need.

  4. The left is blinded by the mainstream media which is largely controlled by funding from the globalists.

    Robert Kennedy, Jr., has a book hot off the press that goes into the corruption behind Covid in great detail. Yes, he’s a Democrat, but he’s on the side of liberty and truth, at least so far as Covid goes (one can quibble with his support of global warming pseudoscience.) We need to come together to fight this.

    • An amazing book. Even the first 20 pages makes an irrefutable case that our medical leaders in Covid-19 are completely incompetent.

      This is the book that Gov. Scott and Dr. Levine need to read. Just the first twenty pages will do, and then they need to stop this completely unethical, anti-science, anti-data, and anti-medicine policy of “no early treatment” for Covid even as far back as April, 2020. That policy is utterly bankrupt; the truth of this will come out and they’ll be hell to pay for this deliberate killing.

  5. This means, the jab is an absolute fail. Remember, 15 days, once the jab comes we wont need face diapers or social distancing, open the economy, herd immunity reached at 80%? Phil is agreement with mandating this in principle, but having 82 deaths and hundreds of cases statewide of FULLY jabbed folks, would be an admission of absolute fail of his miracle jab.

  6. How invested in the new exploding business of ZOOM is Vermont?
    Because I just read on my stock market website “Zoom Video Earnings Preview”.
    When an article about stock market futures has an entire paragraph about Zoom Futures.. the growth of Zoom Rooms and Zoom Phones.. We The People had better wake the heck up and take the wheel back from these crooks.
    “Our Betters” are building an entire economy around Covid and Zoom is a big feature.
    There is only one thing that will keep this big plan going and the Zoom money rolling in and that is FEAR.
    What you are looking at is a whole lot of Kabuki Theater to keep people controlled and in fear because THAT is vital to fueling this new economy- now that their other fiat system of running the planet off debt has crashed and burned.. because the world had all the debt it could take- now they rolled out one fiat system which was a house of cards that crashed and now comes the next one that follows The Reset.
    And since Vermont is so heavily vaccinated.. my question is how invested in the new Covid Economy is Vermont? (since they had damn near destroyed your economy by over regulating up to your eyeballs, “Climate Change” is being revealed as another scam- what else is left to do but live in Covid Land?)
    I think that if you follow the money.. you might find I’m right.
    Take off the masks and take back the control of your state!!
    John Klar I hope you read this…you got some digging to do.

  7. Thankfully my Town has no health officer. I won’t be complying if our Selectboard is obtuse enough to implement a ‘mandate’.

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