S.5 veto session planned for June 20-22, budget and other bills may see veto override challenge

By Guy Page

The word around the State House is that a veto session will be held June 20-22 for S.5, the carbon-taxing climate change bill vetoed Friday by Gov. Phil Scott.

Pitting the nation’s most popular governor supported by an outspoken citizenry vs. an ostensibly veto-proof legislative supermajority, the S.5 battle will be the veto session’s main event.

But the undercard could be pretty interesting, too. Other possible veto session bills:

The budget

Phil Scott for Vermont

Gov. Phil Scott

After the Senate passed its version of H.494 last week, Gov. Scott issued this statement: “In the coming weeks, I know legislators may claim their budget includes funding for a lot of my initiatives, but it’s what they added, and the price tag that comes with it, that has me concerned. The Senate budget passed today will increase spending at more than twice the rate of inflation, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of millions in new taxes and fees being contemplated in other legislation, which makes it unsustainable.”

When this governor uses phrases like “has me concerned” or words like “unsustainable,” he may be signaling a veto. Meanwhile the budget has been sent to a House/Senate conference committee to reconcile considerable differences in spending priorities – notably over child care and paid leave.

H.230, this session’s gun control bill, includes a 72-hour waiting period before firearm transfers. In 2019 he vetoed a 24-hour waiting period, saying the bill didn’t do enough to address concerns about suicide-by-gun. H230 was billed as a suicide prevention bill. It’s uncertain whether the final bill – still requiring reconciliation of the House and Senate versions – will merit a veto. Its five roll calls hovered around the ⅔ necessary to override.

H.386, 16-year-old voting in Brattleboro, now in the Senate. Brattleboro proposed charter change allows 16-year-olds to vote in local elections. The House passed H.386 overwhelmingly on April 12. The Senate – which passed a similar bill last year, only to see it vetoed by Gov. Scott – has sent it to the Government Operations Committee.

A bill that may have avoided a veto is S.100, the omnibus housing bill. After last month’s uprising in the House Housing Committee, the House Environment and Energy Committee yesterday expanded rural housing options exempted from Act 250.

S.100 was voted out of E&E and sent to the House floor. It will now go to the House “money” committees for review of its fiscal needs and impacts. The 10-unit cap on rural housing development exemptions from Act 250 review remains, despite urgent calls to raise the cap to 25. However, changes enacted by E&E include:

  • Four-unit rehabs of single-unit homes would count as a single unit under the 10-unit cap.
  • The 25-unit exemption allowed only in urban growth areas has expanded to several development designations, including in small towns.

The changes fall short of raising the Act 250 review exemption to 25 units statewide. However, they’ve been relaxed enough to satisfy the Rural Caucus, a tri-partisan group of lawmakers that last month wanted the 25-unit cap. Whether the changes are enough to satisfy Gov. Scott’s demand for eased housing construction regulations will likely be a question asked at tomorrow’s press conference.

Guy Page is publisher of the Vermont Daily Chronicle. Reprinted with permission.

Image courtesy of Phil Scott for Vermont

4 thoughts on “S.5 veto session planned for June 20-22, budget and other bills may see veto override challenge

  1. Veto session end of June? Meaning we pay for them to come back for a two day special session to override a veto? They slammed S5 through regardless that it is deemed flawed and irresponsible. Yet, after voting themselves an income and benefit increase, spent hours on perversion laws, and now for good measure; they’ll perform one more taxpayer funded stunt in late June. Judgement Day cannot come fast enough.

  2. These things were handled differently in ancient Ireland. You had a brave chief, you stood with him, and matters like this were settled rather quickly. Also, if you were praised by a poet, you were all set; conversely, if a poet (who was also a satirist, and sometimes a Druid) dissed you, you were done. I see that the Democrats want to reconstruct all the wrong parts of Ireland, B.C., which included living in a damp, freezing hut and chucking spears at the wildlife. In the meantime:

    My Vermont June

    By Ellin Anderson

    Vermont wants me to love it, still:
    The moon’s white blaze that shocks the hill
    And paints the river with its light
    Where currents murmur day and night.

    Vermont wants me to love it, still,
    At evensong, the veery’s trill
    That spirals out across the trees,
    And rises with the evening breeze.

    Vermont wants me to love it — yet
    The daisy and the violet
    That wink like stars from field and farm
    As if to say, “We do no harm,”

    Draw by their very innocence
    Green envy’s eyes across the fence
    Until our every landmark’s moved,
    And envy screams, “It’s much improved.”

    And with the people swept away,
    Like flowers forgotten yesterday,
    Will all our headstones say we died
    Where hollow hearts met hollow pride

    Of hollow, unelected kings
    Who profit from imaginings
    And reap the salt-sown fields they tilled,
    Only to say, “I’m unfulfilled.”

    One lesson learn, till fully known:
    Leave well enough, and us, alone,
    Lest red-flagged bulls drive lessons through:
    They know their business more than you.

  3. Blockade the capitol on the 19th so the leftist fascist can’t get in to vote against all Vermonters. Bring lots of rotten fruits and veggies to throw at the slimy pukes who don’t care one iota about your plight in the era of bidenflation..

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