Montpelier, VT – With Town Meeting Day coming up on Tuesday, March 7, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill that would continue pandemic-era flexibilities as to how and when those votes are conducted.
The bill, H.42, gives cities and towns the flexibility to use ballots at Town Meetings and to move the meetings to a later date. It also allows public bodies, such as city councils or committees, to meet electronically with the public being able to watch.
These regulations have been in effect the last two years due to the pandemic. Time was of the essence to settle this issue as communities planning for Town Meeting Day must alert the public on or before February 5.
In signing the bill, Governor Scott said he was doing so “…at the request of Vermont municipalities who value an extension to pandemic-era flexibilities.” The Governor did take issue with a provision that changes how school boards word budget items on the ballot. Governor Scott said “I have concerns with the removal of the disclosure of per pupil costs from Vermonters when voting. Voters deserve this transparency, and I see no defensible reason why we should extend its omission from ballots.
The Governor also called on the Legislature to implement universal mail-in voting. It would extend the automatic mailing of ballots to all Vermont elections including municipal and primary elections.