MONTPELIER — The House sidelined a bill Tuesday that would have created a working group to study a merger of the Department of Liquor Control and the state’s Lottery Commission.
The Democrat-led House was set to debate and vote on legislation Tuesday to create a group to study the merger sought by Republican Gov. Phil Scott.
The governor signed an executive order in January to merge the two entities, but the House passed a resolution last week that nullified it.
House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, D-Colchester, said the House is also interested in a merger, but wants more details on what it would look like. The legislation legward,’ up for debate Tuesday, H. 525, was a compromise, she said, that would have continued the conversation with potential action by the Legislature next year.
“The bill was an olive branch to say, ‘Hey, we’re interested in moving forward,’ and it became clear that people were not interested in an olive branch,” Johnson said.
“ So we said, ‘ OK,O K , i f f o l k s are not interested in working together over the summer and move towards this, then we can walk away and see if (the House Government Operations Committee) wants to take something up at a later time or see if a more detailed proposal can be put forward later,’” the speaker said.