Scott OKs five bills, lets mental health bill become law without signing

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Scott OKs five bills, lets mental health bill become law without signing

Wed, 05/11/2022 - 3:42pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Governor Phil Scott announced action on the following bills, passed by the General Assembly. Scott signed several bills and let a sixth become law without his signature, S.197, An act relating to the provisions of mental health supports. The governor said that while he supports the mental health supports contained in the bill, he is concerned with troubling language related to executive privilege. His explanation to the Legislature is below.

On May 11, Governor Scott signed bills of the following titles:     

  • H.266, An act relating to health insurance coverage from hearing aids 
  • H.293, An act relating to creating the State Youth Council
  • H.411, An act relating to the retrieval and use of covered wild animals
  • S.162An act relating to collective bargaining rights of teachers
  • S.206, An act relating to planning and support for individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease and related disorders

 On May 11, Governor Scott announced that S.197 would go into law without his signature and sent the following letter to the General Assembly:

May 11, 2022

Vermont General Assembly

115 State Street

Montpelier, VT 05633

Re: S. 197, An act relating to the provisions of mental health supports

Dear Legislators:

Today, I am letting S. 197, An act relating to the provisions of mental health supports go into law because, in the aftermath of remote learning and school masking policies of the last two years of the pandemic, our school staffs and our kids need resources and supports to address learning deficits and mental health needs which only became worse during COVID, particularly among Vermont’s most vulnerable kids. I thank the Legislature for appropriating $3 million in federal funds for this purpose.

Unfortunately, while S. 197 will become law, it will be without my signature due to what I believe is a separation of powers issue related to executive privilege within the bill.  In response to Section 5 of this bill, the Task Force will release materials upon request only, and only to the extent I have made a determination in my discretion to waive the privilege. Letting this bill go into law without my signature does not constitute a waiver of my executive privilege.

Sincerely,

/s/

Philip B. Scott

Governor

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