Lawmakers push back against Scott Special Session bill

State, not local government, should oversee mask mandates, they say

Also: “We could be just the ultimate super-spreader event in Vermont”

In Committee
The Legislature will gather in Special Session Monday to discuss a municipal mask mandate bill

By Guy Page

A Senate committee discussing the draft bill today for Monday’s special session debated whether to give municipalities the power to mandate masks, or whether to empower the State to mandate masks in high-transmission hot spots. 

The bill as proposed by the Scott administration limits the mask mandate to municipalities only. Gov. Phil Scott has said he will veto anything else. However, some legislators want broader masking powers for the State. 

“This has been an extremely frustrating proposal,” Sen. Anthony Pollina (P-Washington) told other members of Senate Government Operations Committee. “We’re told we can’t look at options. My hope is that we should be doing what is for the greatest positive impact for Vermonters with the minimum of conflict, and I think there are other ways to do that.”

Chair Jeannette White (D-Windham) agrees the Legislature could do better but still supports the bill. “I agree with this bill. I think it is important to give towns the options. Would I rather go forward with a statewide [program]? Yes.”

Pollina’s concern is shared by some members of the Vermont House – including Rep. Dr. George Till (D-Jericho/Underhill), who said on WDEV Common Sense Radio Wednesday that a statewide effort targeting hot spots would be more effective and less locally controversial.

Till also questions the medical wisdom of holding an in-person meeting of the Legislature. “The way our adjournment declaration was written, the only option is to be in person. It’s a terrible idea to get everybody together in the State House,” Till said. “We could be just the ultimate super-spreader event in Vermont. We have a lot of us who are well over 65 in there, from every corner of the state. I don’t think it’s a very good idea. But I don’t think, if we have a session, that there’s an option, because of the way the Delta wave caught us by surprise.”

The municipal mask mandate has been requested by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and legislative leaders in response to the unprecedented high case numbers, despite Vermont’s #1 in the nation  vaccination rate. 

Senate Gov. Ops adjourned at about 12:20 PM today for an hour-long lunch break. More discussion will follow this afternoon.

In a letter to Sen. White posted today on the committee website, citizen Bill Moore of Johnson said the committee has yet to observe proper procedures for taking up and voting on a bill. “This Committee has no official possession of 21-1038 and the designation of Committee as possessing the Bill should trigger another properly noticed Agenda of testimony and the official submittal of written testimony. In essence, today’s discussion is not official, legal possession and a Committee vote should be scheduled before action is taken,” Moore said. 

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11 replies »

  1. FROM THE ARTICLE: “The way our adjournment declaration was written, the only option is to be in person. It’s a terrible idea to get everybody together in the State House,” Till said. “We could be just the ultimate super-spreader event in Vermont. We have a lot of us who are well over 65 in there, from every corner of the state. I don’t think it’s a very good idea.”

    WELL, GEORGE, since you’ll ALL be wearing your masks, you shouldn’t have a thing to worry about!!
    (laughing emoji!)

    • Rep. Dr. George Till’s comments should be hilarious. Unfortunately, they convey the the sheer idiocy prevalent in the legislature.

    • I watched all the US House dems closely packed jumping around, dancing, and clapping this morning as they passed the BBB bill. If they can safely do that then I’m sure the VT House can safely meet and keep their distance….and as you said, while masked.

  2. I believe we can all officially deem these Vermont Politicians as INSANE and commit them to mandatory therapy!


    Do we have ANY clear-minded, critical thinking, problem solving, leaders in our Vermont Government?

  3. So–Jill & Becca get to impose THEIR feeble misunderstanding of “science” on the WHOLE state? And Till’s complaining of a “super spreader” event? Reminds me of the stuff that’s sucked from the manure pits and spread upon the fields up here. Remember “live it or live with it” (Firesign Theater) or how about “get busy living or get busy dying” (Shawshank Redemption)..If you can’t stand the “heat” stay out the Statehouse George! Or maybe we should all wear bubble-wrap suits, wear full-face helmets & drive no faster than 20 MPH to “stay safe” also? I thought St. Fauci said the vaccines would protect all who got inoculated? Like Polio & Smallpox right? Like FDR said “we have nothing to fear but fear, fear, & more fear”…

  4. These left-wing charlatans of the demoKKKrat and progressive parties love a mandate but cower in fear over the potential political liabilities. If they want a statewide mask mandate, let them sign their names to it and let the Governor veto it. Every day it is becoming more obvious that this is less about science and everything about control and leftist authoritarianism. Stand your ground, Governor.

  5. Vermont is getting a lot of bad national press – highest in nation for increase in drug overdose deaths, highest per capita of vaccinated COVID cases, harboring murderer Alec Baldwin….if the Dems/Progs want to crater what little economy we have and send tourists to neighboring states…they are batting 100% Well done loonie Lefties!

  6. Scott handed the legislature an “olive branch” (his words). Proving that the majority of the legislature continues to not want to do the work and let the Governor do the heavy lifting- they now complain that they didn’t get what they “demanded” (balint’s words).
    I suppose that if Scott had acquiesced to the legislature, yet again- mandate masks only to hear them cry for a lockdown and cry yet again until Scott mandates the “vax”. They’d find fault with something else. As with all things socialist- nothing is ever enough. Well, Scott gave them too much already- as evidenced by reporting here on VDC November 2nd….
    “White House Covid-19 advisor Anthony Fauci is a big admirer of Vermont’s vaccination program and predicts that staying with the aggressive vaccination program will turn around Vermont’s rising number of cases and hospitalizations, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said.
    Levine said he recently spoke with Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Levine praised Fauci as “someone whose pragmatic, science based approach to CoVid we should all admire.”

    So, the liberal hero and financier of bio-weapons, lord fauci proclaimed things were good on Nov 2nd- But even that isn’t good enough for the liberal elitists. The next few weeks should be mind-blowing for them.
    Spoiler alert- We may not have seen the crest of this wave yet- and it has nothing to do with masks.

  7. do they ever stop! the liberal loonies cry and complain that they’re not getting exactly what the want like 3 year olds. WHEN THE TIME COMES, VOTE THEM OUT!

  8. considering it takes this group almost 5 months to do a 12 month budget…..Im not surprised by anything anymore…….