By Guy Page
May 6 adjournment? Not so fast – Disputes between the Legislature and Gov. Phil Scott over big ticket-bills like the state budget and pension reform could result in a gubernatorial veto, which would almost certainly require a separate ‘veto session’ of the Legislature. Unless the State House and the Fifth Floor come into agreement, lawmakers may go home soon only to be recalled for a veto session – perhaps in June. Or, the Powers That Be could reconcile differences before adjournment.
Will Scott veto Senate carbon tax? The Senate version of the House Clean Heat Standard (H715) gave Gov. Phil Scott one thing he said he wanted: a requirement that the plan to transition from carbon-based heating fuels to electrical heat and weatherization return to the Legislature for a vote before enactment. The bill’s a carbon tax, supporter/co-architect Mark MacDonald (D-Orange) bluntly admitted last week. Stay tuned to see if the House accepts the Senate changes and if Scott keeps his 2016 campaign promise: “I will veto a carbon tax if it comes to my desk because we cannot make Vermont more affordable by making it less affordable.”
VT diesel tech students compete – SkillsUSA Vermont State Championships were held in Shrewsbury MA Thursday, April 28. The winner from each diesel repair tech competition will represent their state at the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference diesel competition in June. Top qualifying students from each school completed tasks that challenge their knowledge of tools, precision measurement, specific vehicle components and job interview skills, as they cycle through workstations. Stations include tasks related to engine diagnostics, electrical systems, brakes, tires, air systems and more.
School mask lawsuit update – Health Choice Vermont said last week it will respond by May 6 to the North County Supervisory Union’s motion to dismiss the February, 2022 lawsuit brought by two parents, Michael Desautels and Amy Ladeau, for kicking their daughter out of the Lowell Elementary school building for refusing to wear a mask. November 2021 the parents were threatened with either arrest or loss of custody of their daughter if they didn’t take her home from school.
Legal sales of marijuana on 4/20 this year reached $154 million nationwide, breaking all previous cannabis retail records for adult-use and medicinal sales, according to industry analyst Akerna. “420” originated in the 1970s with a group of California high schoolers who would regularly meet after school at 4:20 p.m. to smoke weed. According to a 2018 study, fatal car crashes also spike on that date each year. A 4/20 crash in Missouri this year resulted in 500 lbs. of pot being scattered on the freeway and the felony arrests of the driver.