As Economy Struggles VT Senate Moves to Ban Mini-Shampoo Bottles

June 8, 2020

by Rob Roper

In a spectacular example of fiddling while Vermont burns, the Senate Finance Committee voted 6-1 to advance a bill, S.227, to “to prohibit the provision by lodging establishments of personal use products in small plastic bottles.” This directive would come as Vermont’s hotels and bed and breakfasts, a huge part of Vermont’s critical tourism industry, have been decimated by the COVID-19 prevention measures.

Sen. Randy Brock (R-Franklin) had this to say about it:

“Why are we doing this? Well, one of the things we heard is because the large hotel companies are already going in that direction. And they may be. So that again is my point of why do we have to legislate it if it’s something they’re already doing? Well, perhaps the reason we have to legislate it is they want us to force everybody else to do it. But, it’s in their competitive interest to do it that way. Not necessarily in the public interest. And as we look at what the public interest is here… we ought to be focused on issues that really matter at this point. Why are we spending the hours that we’re spending on dealing with tiny little bottles? To prohibit people from using them, but still making them available at the desk if anybody wants them, and then making it effective three years from now. That to me doesn’t make any sense. I look at what we’re supposed to do in this body, and I’m saying, yeah, the public will look at this and laugh at us. And they ought to!” (Video: 48:08-49:25)

Though other members of the committee expressed some reservations about the timing of the bill, and recognized the poor optics of passing it — Sens. Pearson (P-Chittenden), Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) and Cummings (D-Washington) — none but Brock, in the end, voted against it.

This bill impacts an industry that is, as one of the senators noted, “struggling for its existence.” Any added regulation, any added cost to doing business at this point is nothing less than cruel. So why would six out of seven senators do this? VPIRG is “bombarding” legislators with form letters demanding that S.227 be made law, so…. Hopefully the full senate and/or the House will apply more common sense and empathy should it get that far.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda L Lewis June 8, 2020 at 8:35 pm

While people are months still waiting for unemployment and Small business checks,,,that the State already has the money for months from the Federal Government.. Our Legislators. work so hard for the people of Vermont doing stupid crap like this..They can’t even get competent employees for the Unemployment Office and other agencies that are supposed to be helping WE THE PEOPLE..KEEP VOTING THE LIBERAL LUNATICS RIGHT BACK IN…


Karl Baldwin June 8, 2020 at 8:45 pm

What in the holy name of God, are these commie bastard liberals trying to do? It appears they want to destroy, what are supposed to be, their constituents livelihood! Vote these morons out of office before Vermont’s existence is totally destroyed.


Irma Nagle June 8, 2020 at 9:43 pm

Seriously? With all the important issues Vermont faces, Montpelier is worried about plastic bottles?
Let’s send all those nut bags home and get some people with common sense in Montpelier!


James weller June 9, 2020 at 5:13 pm

Well most of you voters put in these pin heads. This is what happens when you give to much power to one side. And they should be focusing on reopening not finding ways to extend state of emergency. Or wasting time over mini shampoo or other stuff that comes in small containers. Because you cant fly with reg size junk. Or reps need to get a grip.


Barb Greck June 10, 2020 at 1:13 am

Walk away in November!!! Stop the madness! Vote Red !!


Mark Shepard June 12, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Thank you Randy for at least providing 1/7th sanity in that committee. Clearly things have not improved since my time there (2003-2006). At least when I was on Finance Committee there were two of us (Hull Maynard and myself) that understood how regulations hurt small businesses and so there should be no surprise that the big businesses, with huge resources to deal with the regulations, promote such ideas. It is so interesting to see how a small rural state legislates to the benefit of the big, powerful and entrenched businesses and against the small more nimble and creative businesses. When will the Republican Party in Vermont understand that the legislature is the most important branch to control? So long as the long sessions, which very much limit who can serve, are ignored there will be no improvement.


Craig S Majoros June 12, 2020 at 9:30 pm

The Commies are alive an well and very comfortable in Vermont.. they will be voted in again and again… time to leave.


paul sciortino June 13, 2020 at 11:28 am

another example of we know better than you. what a waste of time. just because your in the legislature doesn’t mean you have to change the laws. just governing would be good.
another reason to have referendums, let the citizens vote. lastly the progressive idea of a new law is one where it doesn’t affect them, they don’t have to pay more tax or change their behavior or the business they are in. lets Tax all campaign contributions, like a sin tax we will get less of the bad and provide revenue for the Vermont citizen.


doug R. June 13, 2020 at 1:21 pm

The hotels Must NOToffer convenient shampoo, and the airlines will not allow the larger bottles.

Damned if you do, damned if you do not. The New American Way, pure emotion

The legislators parents should be ashamed ?!?!?


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