Lt. Governor Phil Scott issued the following statement in response to Governor Peter Shumlin’s State of the State address:
Vermonters are a proud, hardworking people filled with creativity, ingenuity and a willingness to help each other through tough times. I’ve witnessed these qualities every day of my life, and have been especially fortunate in my time as Lieutenant Governor to experience this hard work in vivid detail through my “Everyday Jobs Tour.” Whether making snow at Sugarbush, baking bread before dawn at a bakery in Bennington, or training with our selfless servicemen and women in the National Guard in Colchester, I know first-hand these Vermonters want their taxpayer dollars to be well managed and they want government to help, not hinder their daily lives. Growing our economy is my number one priority and has been the focus of my public service since I was first elected to the Vermont Senate. I firmly believe responsible growth is the path to success for our State, our businesses, and our people.
Last year, and again last month, I suggested that we don’t have to wait for a new governor to redirect our focus; we have this session to work on prioritizing the economy and restoring the fiscal fundamentals of state government. At forums over the last several months I specifically suggested, among other proposals: Prioritizing funding for higher education; restoring funding to the Vermont Training Program and the Workforce Education & Training Fund; encouraging and growing the use of the Vermont Employment Growth Incentive (VEGI) Program; and replenishing the Enterprise Fund so it can be used for its original purpose of providing added incentives to recruit and retain businesses who will add jobs in Vermont.
I am pleased that the Governor, in his final year in office, is choosing to put some focus on economic growth. In today’s State of the State address, he builds upon suggestions I have made over the years. But, we can’t afford any more empty political promises. Vermont needs leadership that is focused, listens and can build consensus. Working together, we can strengthen our economy, make our state more affordable and invest in our future without sacrificing the values that are so important to us as Vermonters.