GOVERNOR SCOTT COMMEMORATES FIRST 100 DAYS OF NEW ADMINISTRATION
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today commemorated his first 100 days as Vermont’s 82nd Governor, thanking his staff and detailing priorities for the coming months.
Gov. Scott has committed to growing the economy, making Vermont more affordable, and protecting the most vulnerable, focusing on initiatives that will help address these three core challenges. With an aging population and stagnant population growth, Vermont has been losing an average of six workers from its workforce and three students from its schools per day for the last several years. As the opiate epidemic continues to impact the entire state, Vermont has also seen nearly one child a day born exposed to drugs.
“The challenges we face are real, but by recognizing the urgent need to address them and rethinking our policies and how state government works, we will reverse these trends, improve outcomes for Vermonters and change the economic trajectory of the state,” said Gov. Scott.
Joined by members of his Cabinet, Gov. Scott detailed early progress and achievements in moving a pro-growth agenda forward, recognizing the hard work of his team and all state employees.
“To make progress, we’ve built a strong leadership team that is dedicated to growing the economy and making Vermont more affordable, and is committed to listening to, and learning from, the restless innovators and career state employees on the frontlines,” said Gov. Scott. “My team will remain laser focused on my strategic priorities, making government work better for the people we serve and getting real results in the areas that matter most. We must grow the workforce in order to grow the economy, invest in our future and care for the most vulnerable – and that means we have to make Vermont more affordable for families and businesses. That’s the bottom line.”
Specifically, Gov. Scott highlighted the Administration’s activities in the first 100 days, including more than 30 commitments kept in just over three months in office. Those efforts include prioritizing workforce and economic development, initiatives supporting affordable housing for working families, efforts to modernize state government and improve efficiency, and an education proposal creating a cradle-to-career continuum of learning that supports students, strengthens our workforce and would make Vermont an education destination for young families.
Gov. Scott has also followed through on his commitment not to propose, or sign, a budget or bill that adds new taxes and fees or increases spending faster than growth in the economy or average wages, whichever is lower.
In January, he proposed a balanced budget that invested in economic development, workforce training, addressing the opiate epidemic and protecting impaired waterways, without raising taxes and fees – including property taxes – or cutting programs that support the most vulnerable. The budget approved by the House of Representatives does not add new taxes and fees either and the Governor said he is optimistic the Senate will also support his approach.
Looking ahead, Gov. Scott also detailed priority initiatives for the next 100 days. These include ensuring the final Fiscal Year 2018 budget does not rely on new taxes and fees, working with the legislature to pass a housing proposals designed to increase the affordable housing stock for working families, implementing government modernization initiatives like the Agency of Digital Services and deploying additional action steps to streamline the permitting process.
“It is critical that we all recognize the urgent need to act, and to ensure Vermonters and businesses get a break from the continuously increasing costs of living and doing business,” added Gov. Scott. “I’m very pleased with the progress we’re making, and the important conversations we’re having – but there is much more work to do over the next 21 months of this term. There is a sense of optimism I’m seeing as I travel the state. Vermonters know that if we all pull in the same direction – if we make the economy and affordability our focus and work hard to make change – we can chart a course to a more prosperous future and make a difference in the lives of Vermonters.”