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Special session to begin Monday on municipal mask mandates

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 3:50 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A special session of the Vermont Legislature is set for Monday to give towns the power to pass their own limited mask mandates.

Governor Phil Scott Tuesday offered what he called an “olive branch” to Vermont lawmakers to call the Legislature back. Lawmakers are expected to allow municipalities to enact 30-day mandates approved by local selectboards. That authority would expire at the end of April. It’s unknown how many towns would institute a mask requirement.

Governor Scott calls the new policy a compromise but says he still opposes broad mandates. “Our strategy is to get more people vaccinated. We’re trying to get more people educated, we’re trying to bring them to us to get through this. There is a social science to this and sometimes forcing people, or potentially forcing someone, into something they don’t want to do hardens them,” Gov. Scott said.

The governor said he would veto any measure that goes beyond his parameters. Top Democrats say they would still prefer a statewide policy but say any action is better than none.

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Source: Gov. Scott offers local mask mandate compromise to lawmakers, towns

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