Gov. Scott signs budget but vetoes renewable energy standard bill.

By Oliver Townsend May 29, 2024
Gov. Scott signs budget, vetoes renewable energy standard bill.pngOrginal image from:

On May 23, Governor Phil Scott signed the budget bill H.883 into law, while vetoing the renewable energy standard bill H.289. The decision to veto H.289 was due to concerns about the potential increase in utility rates for Vermonters and the lack of a more cost-effective alternative proposed by the Department of Public Service.

Governor Scott Signs Budget Bill H.883

When signing the budget bill H.883, Governor Scott highlighted the importance of collaboration in crafting a budget that meets the needs of Vermonters without adding to their tax burden. The budget makes critical investments in areas such as long-term housing, economic development, and public safety without relying on new or higher taxes.

However, Governor Scott expressed concerns about the substantial increase in base spending and the reliance on one-time and contingent funding in the budget. Despite these reservations, he signed the bill to ensure that the budget does more good than harm for Vermonters.

Veto of Renewable Energy Standard Bill H.289

Governor Scott vetoed the renewable energy standard bill H.289, citing the potential impact on Vermonters’ utility rates and the existence of a stronger, more cost-effective plan proposed by the Department of Public Service. The veto reflects the governor’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and ensuring that legislation does not impose unnecessary costs on residents.

While the Legislature will hold a “veto session” on June 17 to potentially override the veto, Governor Scott remains steadfast in his decision to prioritize the financial well-being of Vermonters.

Leaders React to Veto

President pro tem Phil Baruth expressed disappointment in Governor Scott’s veto of bill H.289, emphasizing the importance of reducing fossil fuel dependence and transitioning to renewable energy. The veto session presents an opportunity for legislators to reconsider the bill’s impact on Vermont’s climate goals and economic sustainability.

House Speaker Jill Krowinski and Rep. Amy Sheldon echoed the sentiment of prioritizing renewable energy adoption and combating climate change. The collaborative efforts behind bill H.289 reflect Vermonters’ commitment to a sustainable future and the urgency of addressing environmental challenges.

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