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Bottle Bill Veto Upheld in Senate
The Governor’s veto of a bill that would have rewritten the state’s recyclable beverage container redemption law was upheld in the Senate by a vote of 17 in favor to 13 against. A veto override would have required two-thirds to vote in favor. The vote to uphold the Governor’s veto comes despite a Democratic supermajority, signaling the possibility that more controversial policy decisions this session may not be split simply on party lines. The Governor appealed to this “middle majority” in his budget address hours following the vote, stating, “…this Legislature can help Vermont find the sweet spot, where we do the hard policy work and invest in the things that help people, without pushing them further behind, or making it too expensive for young workers to get started here, and without forcing our anchor employers out of state, or ‘Main Street’ mom and pops out of business.”
If passed into law, the Bottle Bill would have set a new trajectory for beverage container management and impacted manufacturers, distributors, and retailers alike. The bill had the potential to disrupt existing recycling infrastructure with an increase in handling fees and the required participation in producer responsibility organizations. The widened scope of the bill would have strained current systems, leading to inefficiencies and increased financial burdens on taxpayers.