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MONTPELIER, Vt. - With COVID-19 cases rising 64% over the last 14 days and three significant holidays bringing families and friends together in great numbers, Vermont Governor Phil Scott extended an "olive branch" to the state legislature regarding mask mandates.

In his Tuesday, November 16 press conference, Scott confirmed that he would call for a special legislative session "for the sole purpose of passing a law that would give municipalities the authority to implement mask mandates in their communities."

Assuming the legislature votes as expected, it will be up to each Vermont city and town to decide whether or not masks will be required indoors in their community.

Scott did not waiver from his continuous position that mask mandates are a bad idea.

"A perpetual state of emergency and unilateral executive authority is not helping our democracy or our people," the Governor said as he noted that 44 other states are using the same approach as Vermont.

Scott announced additional conditions to the mask mandate legislation, including an end date of April 30, 2022, after which municipalities will have to revote on it every 30 days.

"This is something that the Vermont League of Cities and Towns asked for last week and I see this as a compromise between my position and the legislative leadership's position," Scott noted.

"I've been clear with them that this is as far as I'm willing to go, and I will veto anything else because I do not think mask mandates will move us towards our goals, and I think we need to move out of a perpetual state of mandates."

Scott relied on news articles stating that legislative leaders have agreed to assemble for the special session to announce that his office will move forward with calling the special session.