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May 31, 2018

Governor Phil Scott issued the following veto message for S.273, An act relating to miscellaneous law enforcement amendments.


Pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution, I am returning S.273, An act relating to miscellaneous law enforcement amendments, without my signature because of my objections described herein.

This bill restructures the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council and could affect the operation of the Vermont Police Academy in a way which substantially weakens the Council and unnecessarily politicizes this essential link between improving the quality of law enforcement and protecting Vermonters. The Council's purpose is to maintain a uniform standard of recruitment and in-service training and certification of state, county and local law enforcement professionals in the State of Vermont.

Specifically, this bill removes the authority of the Governor to appoint five members to the Council to provide broad representation of the law enforcement community and the public. I, as well as prior Governors, have recognized the importance ofthe representation of Sheriffs, State's Attorneys and Police Chiefs on the Council. Unfortunately, this bill eliminates representation of the elected State's Attorneys on the Council.

State's Attorneys are independently elected prosecutors who work closely with the law enforcement community, the defense bar and the courts. The inclusion of the State's Attorneys is critical to the operations of the Council and to the members of the law enforcement community the Council is responsible fortraining.

As noted, based on the objections outlined above, I cannot support this legislation and must return it without my signature pursuant to Chapter II, Section 11 of the Vermont Constitution


Philip B. Scott