Gov. Phil Scott has been wearing out the old veto pen this year. He’s rejected a total of 11 bills this year, bringing his lifetime total to 35 according to VTDigger. He has nearly doubled the previous record-holder, Howard Dean, who amassed his 20 vetoes in 11 years. It’s taken Scott less than six years to rack up 35.
Scott has vetoed bills on questionable grounds before. But number 35 may be his dumbest one to date. H.728 would have ordered studies of a number of drug-related issues. But the one Scott objected to was a study of overdose prevention sites — places where people can use illicit drugs without fear of arrest.
I mean, c’mon, a study? The Legislature’s time-honored strategy for postponing tough decisions? What’s so objectionable about preparing a report that’s probably going to wind up sitting on a shelf gathering dust, or whatever the digital equivalent might be?
Well, if you look at his veto message, it appears that he misinterpreted the bill in a very fundamental way.Continue reading