It’s not exactly a surprise that legislative leaders have given up on passing a mask mandate bill, but the timing is curious indeed. Last Friday, we appeared to be one single grumpy senator away from committee approval. Now, less than a week later, the white flag is waving.
On Friday (per VTDigger’s excellent Final Reading), Ginny Lyons, chair of the Senate Welfare Committee, asked her members if they were ready to vote on the bill. Sen. Ann Cummings replied that she wasn’t. Which is pretty odd, considering that a mask mandate has been a hot issue in #vtpoli for months now. Had she given it no thought until that moment?
Lyons asked if the committee could vote on Monday, usually an off day. The not-terribly-energetic Cummings responded, “What’s the matter with Tuesday?”
The bill was on the committee’s agenda first thing Tuesday morning. But at that point, Lyons announced an indefinite delay. “Leadership continues to discuss the path forward for that bill,” she said. “It was scheduled for this morning, but we’re going to postpone our work and hopefully it’ll only be until tomorrow morning.”
But the state Senate is where hope goes to die.Continue reading