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Governor Phil Scott Announces Action on H.926: Vetoes the bill and signs executive order to address recreational trails

October 5, 2020

Governor Phil Scott today vetoed H.926, An act relating to changes to Act 250, and signed Executive Order 04-20 to provide regulatory certainty for recreation trails.

In his veto letter to the Legislature, Governor Scott noted that at the start of the legislative session, there was broad support for a comprehensive, balanced modernization package, but the bill the Legislature delivered falls far short.  

“With this bill, the Legislature has created more regulatory uncertainty, not less. Our outdoor recreation economy, and the groups that help to maintain and preserve these networks, need a regulatory framework that is responsible, respectful and stable,” wrote Governor Scott in his letter to the Legislature. “Nothing in this bill modernizes or improves the Act 250 process - something that is widely agreed to be necessary after fifty years of existence,” the Governor added.  

Governor Scott’s executive order will advance provisions critical for Vermont’s recreational trails while awaiting further action on comprehensive Act 250 reform.

It directs the Agency of Natural Resources to begin a process to adopt a best management, practice-based program that can also facilitate compliance with Act 250 criteria should a trail network be required to obtain a permit; and to report back on any necessary legislative changes to promote high quality recreational trails that support the recreation economy.​ Additionally, it directs executive branch litigants to take all reasonable steps to defer a final decision in any proceeding addressing Act 250 jurisdiction until the steps identified in this executive order take effect. 

Click here to view the executive order.

Click here to see the Governor’s full letter to the Legislature.