Climate Dispatch: April 28: Many Climate Priorities Moving in the Senate – with Sen. Becca White  

Today’s Episode

It’s been a busy week in the Vermont Senate with lots of significant progress on many priority climate and environmental policies! We’re joined by Senator Becca White and VPIRG’s Marcie Gallagher to give you an update on all of the exciting developments. 

As we shared last week, the Affordable Heat Act (S.5) was passed by the House and then sent to the Senate for concurrence. Excitingly, just yesterday, the full Senate voted 20-10 to concur with the House’s amendment and move the bill to the Governor’s desk. Unsurprising, and unfortunately, Governor Scott has already signaled that he will veto the bill, leaving Vermonters tied to a high-priced global commodity market over which we have no control – all while there are more affordable, cleaner ways to stay warm. With a likely veto override session looming, please stay tuned. We will need your help to support S.5’s enactment in the coming weeks! 

In addition to S.5, the important biodiversity and community resilience bill, H.126 also known as the 30×30 bill, was unanimously voted out of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee and will soon be heading to the Senate floor. Learn more about H.126 and why VNRC supports this policy on our website here. 

Finally, after many years of work, the modernized bottle bill, H.158, has advanced the House and is moving through the Senate. This bill will take huge strides forward in updating Vermont’s recycling laws, helping to ensure we’re recycling more and at a higher quality, as well as expanding the amount of redemption centers and easing the recycling process overall. 

Call to Action

If you haven’t already, now is a great time to call your Senators and thank them for voting to concur with the House amendment of S.5, the Affordable Heat Act, to advance it! Find your Senators and how they voted on concurrence here. As H.126, the 30×30 biodiversity and resilience bill heads to the Senate floor next week, it’s also a great time to call your Senators and ask them to support H.126. 

Finally, you can check Vermont Conservation Voters’ 2023 Environmental Scorecard to see how all of your legislators have been voting on our priority policies for climate and a clean environment.