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Advocacy Update – 2024 Veto Session Summary

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June 18, 2024

The Vermont General Assembly was back in Montpelier Monday to take action on vetoes by the Governor on many pieces of legislation. 

  • To override a veto of the Governor requires a two-thirds majority of those present (on Monday, 145 in the House and 29 in the Senate), which should not have been a problem for the Democratic party, which holds super-majorities in both. 
  • The Legislature made quick work of overriding all but one veto they attempted and was adjourned by 6:00. 


Here’s a quick overview of the legislative work of the veto session. 

  • H.887 – The yield bill – sets an average property tax rate of 13.8%, a new tax on short-term rentals, and a tax on pre-written software accessed remotely. 
    • The Governor vetoed the bill, citing Vermonters’ inability to pay, though negotiations on a compromise bill yielded no new solutions.  
    • The House (103-42) and the Senate (22-7) voted to override the Governor’s veto with ease. 
  • H.687 – this year’s land-use bill – This nearly 200-page bill represents a massive shift in Vermont’s development and land-use policy and reflects compromises made as part of multiple studies this past summer and fall; however, the changes reflect years of policy debates, some spanning decades and many from the 2015 Act 250 50 Years report.
    • The bill was vetoed by the Governor, citing issues with interim regulation sunset dates, governance issues, and a recommended change to the road rule. 
    • The House (107-38) and Senate (21-8) overrode the veto, and legislators and advocates agreed that some of the Governor’s concerns could be resolved in the next legislative session. 
  • H.121 – a privacy bill that was well-intentioned yet overreaching and would have made commerce difficult for Vermont’s businesses and nonprofits became a contentious bill this session. 
    • The legislation was vetoed by the Governor at the request of business groups’ concerns. These concerns were well outlined by Senators on the floor. 
    • The House voted to override the veto (128-17), however, the Senate, which almost didn’t take the bill up for consideration, voted 15-14 to sustain the Governor’s veto. As a result, the bill will not become law but will certainly be a topic of consideration next biennium.
  • H.72 – created the statutory framework for Safe Injection Sites where individuals can consume illegal narcotics with government assistance and support in Burlington, appropriating just over a million dollars to such a site.  
    • The House (104-41) voted easily, and the Senate, after one Senator’s mistaken mis-vote and posturing by opponents to drag the procedure into the next day, voted to override the Governor’s veto (20-9). 
  • H.645 – This bill creates a pre- and post-charge diversion for certain eligible first-time and low-level offenses.
    • The Governor vetoed the legislation on the grounds that the expansion of work was not funded.
    • The House (110-35) and Senate (21-8) overrode the Governor’s veto with little debate. 
  • H.289 – amends the state’s existing renewable energy standard to require that most retail electricity providers’ annual load be 100% renewable energy by January 1, 2030.
    • The Governor vetoed the legislation, citing affordability concerns. 
    • House (102-43) and Senate (21-8) easily overrode the Governor’s veto. 

Read our full coverage of this past legislative session here

As always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns.