Shumlin breaks out veto pen

Gov. Peter Shumlin issued his first ever veto on Thursday, striking down S.77, a bill that would have required testing of wells when a piece of property is sold and when it's first drilled.

It wasn't very controversial in the Legislature, but apparently the governor didn't think too highly of it. 

Here's the message he sent to the Senate.

“We have a responsibility with every bill that we pass to ensure that we are not imposing costs on hardworking Vermonters in rural areas. Every mandate from Montpelier must be balanced with this reality. Vermonters, on average, are earning what they made ten years ago. The vast majority of Vermont’s well water is clean and safe. The General Assembly’s desire to promote safe drinking water is one we all share, but I don’t believe the government should mandate the testing of every single new well, with the cost and burden on individual private property owners that this bill would impose.”  


One Response to Shumlin breaks out veto pen

  1. Randy Kritkausky

    Gov. Shumlin erred in vetoing S.77. He supported legislation to provide better health care for Vermonters and at the same time vetoed an important preventative health care program- detecting dangerous naturally occurring pollutants in Vermont wells. Gov. Shumlin said that the vast majority of Vermont well water is clean and safe. However a very large number of wells are not safe. We know because arsenic in our family’s well seriously affected our 3 year old grandson. He took a year of expensive tests and a trip to a hospital in Boston before we struck on the idea of testing our well for naturally occurring toxins. This incident was the case study that helped to initiate S.77. Our experience was painful, frightening, costly and avoidable. If only someone had told us about testing well water. Gov. Shumlin is correct- most well water in Vermont is safe. But he could also argue for not having fire departments because most houses won’t catch fire. Without S.77 Vermonters will be playing well water roulette when they buy a house. We hope that the governor is better informed when this legislation reappears.