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Vermont lawmakers pass renewable energy bill after veto session  

Credit:  By Eliza Larson | WCAX | Jun 09, 2016 | www.wcax.com ~~


Vermont’s state legislators have wrapped up their veto session signing off on a bill to give communities more say as to where renewable energy projects go.

After a lot of back and forth state legislators have finally called it a day.

They have been at the Statehouse since 10 a.m. deciding on a bill that includes $300,000 for communities to draft local renewable plans, but it took this long to get here because Governor Peter Shumlin vetoed the bill that initially passed because of concerns over technical language. State senators passed a new bill that addresses the governor’s concerns earlier Friday.

House Republicans had some hesitations and wanted the Senate to vote on the vetoed bill instead of crafting new legislation. In the end, the House reluctantly passed the new bill.

“It’s very disappointing. We came down this morning at 10 p.m. for a veto override and we are what 9 o’clock at night, we still never got to vote on the veto,” said Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton.

“I think that it made sense to clarify the language so that it didn’t have any litigation. Put the money in the bill,” said Shap Smith, D-Vt. House Speaker.

Thursday’s special session cost taxpayers more than $40,000. Some legislators say that they believe Thursday was a waste of money.

But they’ve called the session to a close. When we talked with state representatives afterward some said they’re excited for summer, while others say they have a lot to do with election season quickly approaching.

Governor Peter Shumlin released a statement:

“I want to thank the House and Senate for fixing this important bill. I especially want to thank Senate President Pro Tem John Campbell, House Speaker Shap Smith, Senator Chris Bray, and Rep. Tony Klein for their work today.

“Vermont’s leadership building out renewable energy is growing jobs, saving Vermonters money, and helping to address climate change, the most pressing challenge we face as a state, nation, and world. This modified legislation will allow us to continue to lead the way on renewable energy while giving local communities more say as we chart a cleaner, greener energy future together. I look forward to signing it.”

Source:  By Eliza Larson | WCAX | Jun 09, 2016 | www.wcax.com

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