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The Charter Change process


Town residents petition for a charter change to be placed on the ballot when 5% of registered voters sign a petition. Sometimes a city decides they want to change their charter independently, and the Council or Select board places language on the ballot with a majority vote.


The Select Board or City Council then have to hold two public hearings to inform residents what the charter change is and how it will affect their town.


Town votes on the proposal on Election Day. If a majority say Yes, it will be sent to the State House in Montpelier. 

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Charter Changes are introduced to and then debated in the House Government Operations Committee. This committee can ask other committees for input, or pass ownership to another committee.

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House Committee debates the policy and takes testimony.  With a majority vote it will go to the House floor for a full House Vote. At any point in the legislative process lawmakers can make changes to the language approved by the voters. 


If the vote is successful, it will go to the corresponding Senate Committee. They will debate the policy and take testimony. With a majority vote in the Committee it will go to the Senate floor for a full Senate Vote.

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If the floor vote is successful, with language previously approved by the House, it will go to Governor Scott. He can sign, veto or let it become law without his signature. If the policy is vetoed it will go back to the House and Senate for a possible veto override vote; success requires a two thirds majority in both chambers.


If Governor Scott allows the Charter Change to become law or a veto override is successful, JCE is now legally allowed in your town. The City Council can now create an ordinance to implement Just Cause Eviction.

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