Veto #13 gives thumbs-down on Act 250 reform

Four vetoes overturned or bypassed by Legislature

By Guy Page

As expected, Governor Phil Scott June 1 vetoed S234, the Act 250 reform bill, saying it “makes Act 250 even more cumbersome than it is today and it will make it harder to build the housing we desperately need.”

The veto is the latest setback in the Legislature”s multi-year effort to update the state’s 1972 development and land use law. In the closing days of the 2022 session of the Legislature, Scott promised to veto S234 if it reached his desk. It did, and he did. 

In his letter of explanation, Scott said he plans to sign a related bill that included acceptable parts of S234, likely the streamlined development of downtown housing. 

Scott vetoed 13 bills during the 2021-22 session. Three vetoes were overturned by a vote of two-thirds or more of the Legislature and became law: pension reform this year and non-citizen voting in Montpelier and Winooski last year. Also, after Scott vetoed S30, prohibiting carrying weapons in some public places, the Legislature transferred a tweaked version into another bill. It passed with Scott’s approval. Aspects of other vetoed bills also found their way into successfully-passed legislation. 

Nonetheless, these nine vetoed bills remain vetoed, with no plans by legislative leaders to call a  special veto override session:

  • S.234, changes to Act 250, vetoed 6/1/2022
  • H.505, creation of the Drug Use Standards Advisory Board within the Vermont Sentencing Commission, 5/20/2022
  • H.534, expanding eligibility for expungement and sealing of criminal history records for nonviolent offenses, 5/20/2022
  • H.715, the Clean Heat Standard, 5/6/2022
  • H.708, the approval of an amendment to the charter of the City of Burlington, 5/4/2022
  • H.361, approval of amendments to the charter of the Town of Brattleboro, 2/28/2022
  • H.157, registration of construction contractors, 2/10/2022
  • S.79, improving rental housing health and safety, 7/2/2021
  • S.107, confidential information concerning the initial arrest and charge of a juvenile, 5/20/2021

On June 1, Governor Scott signed these bills into law: 

  • S.201, best management practices for trapping
  • S.224, juvenile proceedings
  • S.250, law enforcement data collection and interrogation
  • S.258, agricultural water quality, enforcement, and dairy farming
  • S.261, municipal retention of property tax collections and valuation for purposes of the education property tax
  • S.269, extending the Energy Savings Account Partnership Pilot Program
  • S.281, hunting coyotes with dogs
  • S.283, miscellaneous changes to education laws
  • S.285, health care reform initiatives, data collection, and access to home- and community-based services. However he signed this bill “with hesitance,” explaining his reservations about the Green Mountain Care Board setting policy

To view a complete list of action on bills passed during the 2022 legislative session, click here.

Categories: Legislation

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