By Guy Page
Gov. Phil Scott won’t veto S4, the replacement gun control bill, he said at his press conference yesterday.
Scott vetoed S30, the session’s first gun control bill, because it allowed a 30 day waiting period while the federal government conducted its required background check. S4 limits the waiting period to seven days, as he requested. “A deal’s a deal,” he told Vermont Daily Chronicle.
However, the governor cautioned legislative leaders who (he said) are sneaking vetoed rental and contractor registration legislation into other bills. He vetoed the rental contractor bill because it would weaken a vital employment sector and increase Vermont’s affordable housing crisis. When you need to have your porch fixed, you call a small contractor. The contractor registration will force more of these ‘mom and pop’ operations to close and offer their services to big contractors, who can’t be bothered with fixing your porch, he predicted.
He’s equivocal on H606, the land conservation bill passed by the House last week. It requires 30% of total Vermont land area to be protected from development by 2030, and 50% by 2050. Scott said he can live with 30 x 30 – we’re almost there now, he said.
About 25% of Vermont land area is protected from development because it is state or national forest, wetlands, owned by a land trust, zoned for non-development, or falls into another category in which development is prohibited.
But 50% by 2050 is another matter. If the bill passes the Senate with that language still included, “I’ll have to look at that,” he said.
On March 22, Governor Scott signed these bills:
- H.367, An act relating to the management of perpetual care funds by cemetery associations
- H.654, An act relating to extending COVID-19 health care regulatory flexibility
When signing H.654, Governor Scott issued a joint statement with Secretary of State Jim Condos:
“This bill provides important ongoing flexibility for healthcare delivery and access to telehealth services for Vermonters. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth access was shown to be a valuable way to increase access to healthcare for Vermonters, which is a shared priority of the Governor’s office and the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR), a division of the Secretary of State’s office. Moving forward, it can continue to play an important role for Vermonters and their health and wellbeing.
“The bill provides an extension for out of state providers to practice telehealth in our state without a Vermont license, so long as they are licensed to operate in another state. Now, H.654 requires them register with the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR) or the Board of Medical Practice by March 31, 2022. Given the short timeframe for this to occur, OPR will allow for delayed enforcement of this provision, while encouraging compliance to ensure providers can follow through on the requirements without disrupting care for Vermonters.“We thank the Legislature and the hardworking staff at OPR for their work on this initiative.”
To view a complete list of action on bills passed during the 2022 legislative session, click here.