State Notes

Senate rejects Gov. Scott’s labor board nominee
The Vermont Senate has rejected the controversial nomination of a retired utility executive to the state Labor Relations Board.

Senators on Saturday refused to confirm Gov. Phil Scott’s nomination of Karen O’Neill, whom the governor had named to serve as a “neutral” member on the six-member labor relations board in February.

Opponents of O’Neill’s nomination said her extensive experience in management positions, and lack of work or advocacy for labor interests, means she is not qualified under state statute to serve as a neutral board member.

They also said no applicants for the position, including O’Neill, were interviewed by phone or in person prior to the nomination.

“I think that the process of getting this nomination to us was flawed,” said Sen. Michael Sirotkin, D-Chittenden.

Supporters of the nomination said there was no evidence that O’Neill would be biased against labor issues.

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