in the State House of Representatives
on May 12, 2022, by a vote of
Purpose: The purpose of this vote was to protest the potential storage of nuclear weapons in Burlington, and to send a general declaration to the President and Congress against the threat of nuclear war.
The contentious part of the resolution reads: “That the General Assembly (Legislature) reaffirms its adoption of 1982 Acts and Resolves No. R-82 in opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and opposes the basing of nuclear weapons in Vermont.”
The less controversial provisions include:
“...That the General Assembly urges Congress and the President to spearhead a global effort to prevent nuclear war by:
(1) committing to preparing an updated Nuclear Posture Review that will assert the intent of the United States to reduce the role of nuclear weapons in its deterrence and defense policies and to continue to reduce its nuclear weapons stockpile
(2) establishing additional protections to ensure that the President does not have the sole and unchecked authority to launch a nuclear attack
(3) adding more protections to the current hair-trigger alert system for U.S. nuclear weapons to lower the risk of accidental or unauthorized launches
(4) actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed nations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals and other offensive weapons of mass-destruction, such as biological weapons, in a way that reduces and eliminates the need for nuclear weapons as instruments of mutually assured destruction…”
(5) actively pursuing a verifiable agreement among nuclear-armed nations to eliminate their nuclear arsenals...”
Analysis: Those voting YES hope to signal Vermonters’ distaste for potentially locating nuclear weapons in Vermont. They believe that storing nuclear weapons could mean that Vermonters will become collateral damage if enemies of the United States choose to attack our nuclear capabilities.
Those voting NO may have supported a resolution against nuclear war generally, but disliked the clause in resolution against placing nuclear weapons in Vermont. They believed this would have been a vote against Vermonters serving in America’s armed forces.
As Recorded in the House Journal, Thursday, May 12, 2022: “…Shall the resolution be read a third time?, Rep. Small of Winooski demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number. The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the resolution be read a third time?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 83. Nays, 62” (Read the Journal, p. 2406-10).
Sally Achey (R - Middletown Springs) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (I – Newark) – YES