Policy was high on the agenda this week, as Phil continued to demonstrate strong leadership, further detailing his approach to critical issues facing Vermonters, and elaborating on his plans for tackling those issues. A few of this week’s highlights from the state’s most energetic and hardworking campaign are below.
DEEP DIVE INTO THE ECONOMY, OUR SHRINKING WORKFORCE, BUDGET PRIORITIES & MORE
Phil was interviewed this week for the Burlington Free Press’ “The Table,” giving Vermonters the opportunity to get a strong sense of Phil’s leadership style, approach to governing and priorities for Vermont as Governor.
During the in-depth video interview, which you can view HERE, Phil elaborates on his experience and how he’ll leverage that experience as Governor to strengthen our economy, make Vermont more affordable and restore faith and trust in state government. He also dives into a number of specific issues, including:
- Demographic challenges – “If we have 30,000 less [working class Vermonters] helping to bring in revenue to the state and spreading the burden out a bit, it puts the burden on the rest of us who are still standing. What I see as the solution is to try and grow the economy, try to revitalize and restore it. It’s not firing on all cylinders here. What we need to do is to restore that so we can bring revenue in organically, rather than forcing that through taxes and fees.”
- Legislative priorities – “I came to the conclusion that we weren’t focusing enough on the economy. I brought that back to the legislative leaders and to the Governor. I said that we should really focus the next two to four legislative years on just trying to do something about the economy. Just focus on that. Every single committee could have a piece of this. Whether it’s Education with public private partnerships; whether its Transportation with infrastructure; whether its Ways and Means with tax incentives. Every single committee could have a piece of this, if we all focused and agreed to pull in the same direction.”
- Retaining and attracting young workers – “We need to offer opportunity in some way. They need jobs – they need competitive jobs that pay a competitive salary. We also have to have affordable housing…We do a poor job of bringing about affordable housing for the working class, and that’s where we need to focus. And on providing some incentives, as well, for them to stay here.”
- Responsible budgeting – “Over the last six years, all we’ve done is raise taxes and fees and we’ve increased our spending. Then we have a deficit every single year after and yet the legislature is surprised…We shouldn’t be growing [the budget] any faster than the economy or wages in the previous year. That’d be another thing that I’d advocate for.”
A LEADER WITH INTEGRITY: PHIL’S LATEST VIDEO MESSAGE
Phil has run a campaign based on the issues and his vision for leading Vermont. He continued his positive message this week by releasing a video urging civility and respect in this election. In contrast to the misleading negative attacks of his primary opponent, Phil has invited Vermonters to join his campaign to “make Vermont more affordable, the economy stronger and political campaigns an example for our children.”
View the official press release and full video HERE.
share the video on social media, use the hash tag, #theVermontway
CHALLENGING THE GOVERNOR ON HIS POOR EB-5 OVERSIGHT AND TRANSPARENCY
Yet again, Vermonters had to learn new information on the EB-5 investigation from reporters, rather than from the Governor himself. Vermont Public Radio reported Thursdaythat the Shumlin Administration allowed Jay Peak’s owners to continue to solicit investors months after the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) launched its investigation.
Phil issued a statement expressing disappointment that “the Shumlin Administration enabled the owners of the EB-5 projects in the Northeast Kingdom, who are accused of multiple counts of fraud, to continue to solicit investors for months after the SEC had suspended that permission for Jay Peak. Even after repeatedly failing to provide compliance information to state regulators, they were allowed to raise more money. By the Administration’s own admission, it was a ‘calculated risk.’ Yet, they’ve not yet explained why they took this risk or why they allowed the problem to continue to grow.”
While Phil has consistently supported these projects as a useful economic development tool, he has always cautioned that there must be proper oversight, which was clearly not the case under Governor Shumlin’s leadership.
He added, “In order to grow the economy, we need leaders who will capably and transparently oversee programs and put regulatory responsibility ahead of politics. This is essential to restoring faith and trust in state government, the integrity of Vermont’s regulatory system and the value of this economic development program.”
Read the official statement HERE.
FORUMS, FESTIVALS, MEETINGS AND MORE PARADES
At an AARP Town Hall, Phil was excited to hear from attendees and discuss the issues impacting our aging population and how its effecting our state and our country. At a picnic and forum hosted by the Washington County Republican Party Phil further distinguished himself from his opponent, reinforcing his commitment to prioritize the economy and his plans for improving it. For example, Phil discussed how to make Vermont more predictable and stable for businesses, including ending the constant threat of regulations and policies that stifle business such as the “carbon tax.”
Team Scott also made time to meet with Vermonters at Montpelier’s Cody Chevrolet, the Rutland Chamber Mixer, and the Casella “Truck Rodeo,” and swung by Bradford for a parade! Thanks to all who joined us at these great events!***
“Lt. Gov. Phil Scott cares about the well-being of all Vermonters and has demonstrated over his entire life the inherent trait of doing for others, which is the hallmark of those who are genuinely motivated by public service.” Thomas Joseph, Wilmington (Source: Times Argus: Full Story)
Addressing our Demographic and Health Care Issues
“Republican Phil Scott said the cost of services would be spread more evenly if the state’s population grew from 630,000 to 700,000 people. On health care, he advocated eliminating Vermont Health Connect, the state website set up to offer health coverage required under federal law, and join the federal exchange or hook up with another state that has been successful.” (Source: VT Digger: Full Story)
On Shumlin’s Mismanagement of the EB-5 Investigation
“Whatever their reasons for allowing the scheme to continue while under federal investigation, the fact that journalists had to dig up this information further undermines faith and trust in state government.” (Source: Vermont Business: Full Story)
SBEC: Best to Worst State Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business
The Small Business and Entrepreneurial Council released its annual ranking of state’s business climates. The score is a composite of a number of different measures that together reflect how hospitable a state is to businesses. Vermont ranked 44th overall, and worst among New England states. We tout these lists when Vermont ranks highly for quality of life. But it is difficult to balance the two, and we clearly have not budgeted with both in mind for the last six years. As Governor, Phil will make the economy and affordability the top priorities in Montpelier. Read the full report HERE and read more on Phil’s proposals to strengthen our economy for working families and Vermont businesses HERE.