A minority of House members kill legislation to protect kids from toxics

In a sad day for Vermont’s children, the Vermont House was unable to secure the votes to override Governor Scott’s veto of S.103 – therefore, the veto is sustained and regrettably S.103 will not become the law here in Vermont.

The vote was 94-53. The house needed 98 YES votes to secure an override. See how your representative(s) voted here (those voting YES voted to override the governor and protect kids; those voting NO sided with the governor and industry lobbyists).

VPIRG has been committed to passing S.103 for the past two years because it would have provided better protections for Vermont’s children and communities from toxic chemicals by:

  • Granting the Commissioner of Health greater authority to make science-driven decisions to protect children from toxic chemicals in kids toys, clothing, utensils and other products,
  • Requiring testing for toxins in new drinking water wells,
  • Providing Vermonters with better information on chemicals in consumer products,
  • Establishing a government-led process to come up with ways to improve chemical reporting and encourage toxics use reduction among manufacturers.

On April 16th, Governor Scott made the poor choice of vetoing S.103 – siding with industry interests over the health and wellbeing of Vermont’s kid and communities. In his message to legislators, the governor said that, “Vermont will be a less friendly place for the manufacturers to locate and sell their products here. Furthermore, there are many federal laws and safety standards which are relevant to the regulation of chemicals.”

We know that there is nothing “friendly” about dangerous (and unnecessary) toxins in children’s products – and there is absolutely no reason to believe that S.103 would have cost a single job in Vermont. And to suggest that the federal government will protect our kids and communities from toxins – well, anyone paying attention to the Trump administration, Congress or Pruitt’s EPA would know that’s just not true.

The Vermont Senate voted 22-8 to override the governor’s veto, taking a stand for Vermont’s children and communities. Unfortunately in the House, party politics and industry influence took precedent over voting on the merits of S.103.

The 94 House members and 22 senators who voted to override this veto deserve thanks — but their efforts were not enough.

We’re very disappointed with this outcome, but we will continue to fight to protect Vermonters from toxic chemicals.

We’ll keep fighting because it’s the right thing to do. 

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