WCAX: Montpelier, Vermont - March 8, 2010:
IRV repeal expected to sail through legislature
Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say they are going to follow the will of Burlington voters and approve a charter change repealing Instant Runoff Voting. Some had been pushing for a delay on the vote.
When Burlington residents voted to repeal Instant Runoff Voting, it still needed to go through one more step to become final. The legislature must approve any charter change, and both leaders in the House and Senate say they will take it up and pass it.
"Our hope is to bring it forward as quickly as possible," said Rep. Shap Smith/D-Vt. House Speaker.
Sen. Peter Shumlin/D-Vt. Senate President Pro Tem: "I expect the legislature will move and support the will of the voters."
Reporter Kristin Carlson asked: "And that includes you?"
Sen. Shumlin replied, "Absolutely."
"It seems to me that the people of Burlington have spoken on this issue and I would concur with them on their viewpoint," said Rep. Smith.
A united front that hurts the effort of people still fighting to save IRV, and bolsters IRV opponents who had worried Progressives would seek a delay. Some had talked behind the scenes about trying to stall a legislative vote for a year, so Instant Runoff Voting could be brought back to Burlington residents. Both House and Senate Leaders say if there's a change, then they'll simply hold another vote.
"It's our job to follow the will of the voters and that's what we do here in charter change requests," said Sen. Shumlin.
In response Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss says he remains disappointed in the outcome of the IRV vote, but that the charter change is not his decision, it's the legislatures, and he will leave it to them.