A couple of good editorials on H.520 today....
From the Rutland Herald: June 19, 2007
[After Stamping his Veto on the Legislature's Engery Bill] Douglas has come up with his own energy-efficiency program, and he is urging the Legislature to act on it.
If the override fails, Plan B for Symington will come in January when the Legislature reconvenes. The Legislature is not prepared in a special session in the middle of the summer to act on a complex proposal like the one Douglas has offered, which has come, not in the 11th hour, but in the 13th...
Douglas cannot stymie the Legislature's action, then loft his own plan into the debate after the fact, then pretend that he is the one taking the initiative. The Legislature took the initiative, and now that Douglas has shot down the Legislature's bill, he must accept responsibility for the lack of action.
By Judy Bevins, Vice-Chair, Vermont Democratic Party, Letter to the Editor: Times Argus
All [H. 520] does is readjust the rate of taxation Vermont Yankee pays, which was frozen in place by the Republican-controlled Legislature and the governor in 2003, making that rate the same as what new wind developments will pay.
And then Jim Douglas vetoed the bill. Why? Because he worries about the "message" this sends to the business community. Actually, the message that the governor is sending to his friends in big business is, "Whisper in my ear, and we'll make a deal."
It was only after his inaction started hurting him politically that Jim Douglas cobbled together a "plan" to address energy efficiency. What does the governor's plan do? It requires average Vermonters and Vermont businesses to take out loans to pay for efficiency measures. The message Gov. Douglas has sent Vermont citizens and small business owners with this so-called plan is, "Want to save energy? Why don't you go further into debt. You can afford it, right?"
The problem is many Vermonters, already struggling with high costs and debt from a variety of sources, including home mortgages, student loans and credit cards, can't afford it. Rather than close a loophole that allows a business to pay less than its fair share to both the General Fund and the Education Fund, Jim Douglas is putting the burden on the backs of ordinary Vermonters.