On behalf of Vermont’s rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds; the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain (FNLC) would like to thank all of the people, groups, and legislators that spoke up for them! The final vote on H35 (the House Clean Water Bill) on Thursday was 133 for the water and 11 against it! This huge bi-partisan, statewide support of clean water for the State of Vermont is considered by FNLC a victory! Bill H35 (it would be cool If we could call it H20) took years of work by many people, including: Leaders in our state and federal agencies, the environmental advocacy groups, Regional Planning Commissions, Municipal leaders, the farming community, the business community, the people that spend hours of time in the tiny, stuffy committee rooms at the statehouse, and the people like you and I that care enough to send an email, write a letter, make a call, and talk to their elected officials about the things that matter most to us.
I know that for some of our Representatives their vote on this bill challenged their core values of wanting to make Vermont affordable and the promises they made to their constituents. I know that these same Representatives recognized the absolute need for this Bill at this time and in fact, the passing of this bill, despite some increases in fees and a small increase in the property transfer fee, will save Vermonters money and will increase our collective economic prosperity!
This bill shows true collaboration and a desire by everyone to get to work on one of the biggest environmental challenges facing Vermont! I am so proud of the Franklin and Grand Isle Delegations for their leadership on water quality. They kept their eyes on the prize and all voted ‘YEA’ when it mattered most! We need to recognize the hard work of the people who put this bill together and who worked to ensure there is an independent and sustainable funding source for it, including, some members from our local delegation: Bob Krebs, Steve Beyor, Dan Connor, Carolyn Branagan, Kathy Keenan, Albert Pearce, and Mitzi Johnson. They are our local leaders and champions for Clean Water.
If you have some time, I would encourage you to thank them for their work! They all played a pivotal role in this Bill. The bill now moves onto the Senate, where our local Senators now need to hear from you. We need them to keep this bill intact and remind them of the promises they made to help clean Vermont’s waters!