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Vermont Governor Phil Scott outlines state actions to stand in solidarity with Ukraine

Vermont Governor Phil Scott attends an event in May 2021
Pat Bradley
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (file)

Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced today that new school masking guidelines will soon go into effect and also outlined measures the state will take to stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

The Republican usually holds a weekly briefing on Tuesdays. But due to Town Meeting Day he postponed the meeting until Thursday.

On Monday, Scott ordered that all Russian made products be removed from Vermont liquor stores. He calls the bravery of the Ukrainian people inspiring and says the state cannot sit idly as Russia’s invasion continues.

“I know there is nothing our small state can do alone to change the outcome of what happens over 4,000 miles away in Ukraine. But I think it’s important we do something to show our support for the people of Ukraine in their time of need.”

To that end Governor Scott has signed an executive order and he outlined the state’s actions.

“I’m directing the Secretary of Administration to immediately cease purchases and terminate contracts from Russian sourced goods and those produced by Russian entities. My office also reached out to the Treasurer to see about any investments the state has in Russian enterprises. They will be liquidating any holdings we have. Next, when the legislature returns next week I’m asking that they immediately appropriate $643,077, a dollar for every Vermonter, to support humanitarian efforts for the people of Ukraine," said Scott. "Additionally in 1990 Vermont entered into a sister state agreement with Karelia. Although the agreement has been dormant for decades I am rescinding the still active Executive Order from 1991. I also ask municipalities who may have formal relationships with Russian cities to suspend them as well. Finally Vermont is ready, willing and able to accept refugees from Ukraine if need be. I know several of these steps are symbolic but we need to let the people of Ukraine know we’re there for them.”

Administration officials also announced that due to low statewide COVID hospitalization rates, on March 14th statewide masking guidance will be updated both in schools and for the general population. Education Secretary Dan French:

“This means masks will be optional for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status. And this will apply to school buses as well since masks are no longer required on school buses as a result of a recent change in federal regulation.”

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