BURLINGTON, Vt. – As Gov. Phil Scott reviews a bill that would ban single-use plastics in Vermont, several lawmakers gathered in Burlington to discuss the state of climate change legislation in Montpelier.
Rep. Mary Sullivan, a Democrat, was optimistic that the Republican governor will sign the bill.
“This is a strong bill, but we’ve had legislation like this around the country and there’s similar countries that have absolutely banned plastic so, I’m really hoping that he does sign the bill,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan joined Rep. Selene Coburn and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, both Progressives, and Democratic Rep. Curt McCormack for a meeting with Sierra Club Vermont, a group that focuses on sustainability in the Green Mountain State.
McCormack heads the House Transportation Committee. He said he’d like to focus on expanding mass transit next year. In order to do that, however, he said there’s another issue that needs to be addressed.
“It’s difficult to expand transit when people don’t use it,” McCormack said. “We really do need a change in attitude about that, and I mean the big ‘we,’ the public, not just the legislature.”
The lawmakers said they routinely hear from constituents who want more action taken on climate change. But with the possibility of more ambitious legislation being vetoed by Scott, a majority of the Legislature needs to be on board for it to pass.
Zuckerman said that shouldn’t stop them from trying.
“I think it’s critically important to pass bills with a majority of the votes and let the people see where the legislators are and let the people see where the executive office is,” he said. “If you don’t even hold the vote because you can’t get 100 votes, that neither puts legislators votes on the record for you, or the Governor’s position on record for you.”
Scott has until Monday to make a decision on the bill. It was sent to his office on Tuesday.