Gov. Phil Scott at Wednesday's press conference - JOHN WALTERS
John Walters Gov. Phil Scott at Wednesday’s press conference

Gov. Phil Scott called Wednesday for an end to political rhetoric over the issue that led to an impasse with the Vermont legislature — and at the same time, he dutifully repeated his own political talking points.

“I think we have to get beyond the rhetoric and the name-calling and look at the issue itself,” he said at a press conference during which he signed S.50, a bill to increase access to telemedicine services in Vermont. “The issue” was his insistence on statewide uniformity in public school teacher health insurance — an issue that’s a deal breaker for the teachers’ union and its Democratic allies.

Scott’s comments came the day after he formally vetoed two bills: the annual budget bill, and a property tax bill that includes language on teacher health care. His veto message emphasized his political talking points and slammed the Democratic legislature for, in his view, failing to maximize savings and seeking an unnecessary tax increase.

Scott also sought to tamp down Tuesday’s kerfuffle between his staff and Bill MaGill, clerk of the House of Representatives. According to MaGill, the governor’s office delivered a single letter vetoing both bills. Tuesday, MaGill asserted that according to the Vermont Constitution, each veto must have its own letter. MaGill said he returned the two-veto letter for amendment.

The Scott administration reacted with something close to fury, characterizing MaGill’s action as without foundation. Scott spokesperson Rebecca Kelley branded it a “hyper-political” act, VTDigger.org reported….