Vermont’s Republican Governor to Sign Bill Abolishing Columbus Day

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott pauses while speaking before signing the first significant gun restrictions bills in the state's history during a ceremony on the steps of the Statehouse in Montpelier, VT, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter)
Cheryl Senter/AP Photo

Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott said he would sign a bill that would abolish Columbus Day and replace it with “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.”

The bill to dump the traditional holiday passed through the state legislature in Montpelier on Wednesday and is now on the governor’s desk waiting for a signature, the Burlington Free Press reported.

“I see no reason that I would not sign it,” Scott told the media, “but we’re reviewing the bill as we speak.”

“I know it’s controversial from many standpoints, from many people, but you know, it’s just a day, and we’ll get through it,” Scott added. “And we’ve been treating it as something different over the last couple of years through resolutions. Without any technical difficulties within the bill, I’ll probably sign it.”

Scott has continued the celebration of so-called “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” since Democrat Gov. Peter Shumlin first issued a proclamation observing the day in 2016.

Vermont will become the third state to eliminate Columbus Day in favor of “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” and will join New Mexico and South Dakota once signed. Maine also has a similar measure sitting on its governor’s desk.

Alaska passed an “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” resolution in 2017 but had never officially recognized Columbus Day in the first place.

If Scott signs the bill, it will take effect immediately.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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