Vermont Senate Fails to Override Vermont Data Privacy Act Veto

June 19, 2024

This week, the Vermont Legislature took up Governor Phil Scott’s veto of H. 121, the Vermont Privacy Act, in a veto override session. The House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to override the veto with a 128-17 vote. “Companies should not be profiting from the sale of consumers’ most personal data, such as a child’s data, or data about a consumers’ race, religion, genetic data, sex life, precise geolocation, or health,” bill sponsor Representative Monique Priestley said in a floor speech.

Unfortunately, the Senate failed to override the veto on a vote of 14-15. Twenty votes were needed to override the veto.

EPIC had signed a coalition letter calling on Vermont Gov. Phil Scott to sign the Vermont Data Privacy Act. Nine other organizations, 16 Vermont legislators, and 41 individuals also signed the letter.  

EPIC testified in support of this bill, which is a significant step forward in states’ privacy laws, both because it included meaningful data minimization provisions, strong anti-discrimination rues, and provided consumers with the ability to enforce their rights through a narrowly tailored private right of action that would have largely only applied to large companies who violate the rules regarding sensitive data.

The bill faced opposition from industry lobbyists throughout the legislative process, and the Vermont House Committee on Commerce and Economic Development heard testimony last month from other state legislators from across the country who faced similar lobbying when they championed strong privacy bills.  

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