H.688 – AN ACT RELATING TO ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE – SCOTT VETO
in the State Senate
on September 22, 2020, by a vote of
Purpose: Governor Scott’s veto of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) signaled his opposition to the legislation based primarily on its lack of articulated solutions, its unconstitutional abdication of legislative and executive responsibilities to an unelected body, and the unnecessary and costly legal jeopardy the Act creates for the taxpayers of Vermont.
Analysis: The GWSA mandates that Vermont meet strict carbon emission reduction targets to 26% below 2005 levels by 2025, 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, it create a Climate Council made up of 23 state government officials and citizen experts that will adopt a “Vermont Climate Action Plan” by Dec. 1, 2021. This plan would offer guidance to the Agency of Natural Resources, which would be empowered to create and implement new rules for achieving the emission targets.
The Act also states that any citizen (or special interest group) who believes the Agency is not acting sufficiently either in following the recommendations of the Counsel or in meeting the mandates may sue the state at taxpayer expense and, if a judge so rules, be reimbursed for their attorneys’ fees.
Those voting YES dismissed the Governor’s concerns with the bill, voted to override the Governor’s veto, allowing the bill to become law without the Governor’s approval.
Those voting NO agreed with the Governor’s objections and voted to sustain his veto.
As Recorded in the Senate Journal for Tuesday, September 22, 2020:
“....Shall the bill pass, notwithstanding the refusal of the Governor to approve it?, was decided in the affirmative on a roll call required by the Vermont Constitution, Yeas 22, Nays 8. (the necessary override two-thirds vote having been attained)." Read the Journal, p. 1575. Watch the debate on Youtube.
Gov Scott’s Veto Message
How They Voted
Timothy Ashe (D/P-Chittenden) – YES
Becca Balint (D-Windham) – YES
Philip Baruth (D-Chittenden) – YES
Joseph Benning (R-Caledonia) – NO
Christopher Bray (D-Addison) – YES
Randy Brock (R-Franklin) – NO
Brian Campion (D-Bennington) – YES
Alison Clarkson (D-Windsor) – YES
Brian Collamore (R-Rutland) – NO
Ann Cummings (D-Washington) – YES
Ruth Hardy (D-Addison) – YES
Cheryl Hooker (D-Rutland) – YES
Debbie Ingram (D-Chittenden) – YES
M. Jane Kitchel (D-Caledonia) – YES
Virginia Lyons (D-Chittenden) – YES
Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) – YES
Richard Mazza (D-Chittenden-Grand Isle) – YES
Richard McCormack (D-Windsor) – YES
James McNeil (R-Rutland) – NO
Alice Nitka (D-Windsor District) – YES
Corey Parent (R-Franklin) – NO
Chris Pearson (P-Chittenden) – YES
Andrew Perchlik (D-Washington) – YES
Anthony Pollina (P/D-Washington) – YES
John Rodgers (D-Essex-Orleans) – NO
Richard Sears (D-Bennington) – YES
Michael Sirotkin (D-Chittenden) – YES
Robert Starr (D-Essex-Orleans) – NO
Richard Westman (R-Lamoille) – NO
Jeanette White (D-Windham) – YES
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