OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE GOVERNOR ON MOODY’S INVESTOR SERVICES REPORTS
Montpelier, Vt. -- Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement on the Moody Investor Services reports.
“While Vermont continues to have the highest overall bond ratings in New England, our transportation bond rating is stable and we’re getting stronger every day, it’s no surprise that Moody’s Investor Services today highlighted Vermont’s aging demographics and the unfunded retirement liabilities that have accrued over the last several decades. These are our most significant economic and budgetary challenges. In fact, they foreshadowed this in last year’s report.
“As I’ve noted for the last several years, we have to do more to retain and recruit working age families by focusing on affordability, reducing barriers to organic wage growth and job creation, and strengthening state government’s fiscal foundation. This has been a primary focus of my Administration and we have a comprehensive plan to achieve these goals.
“While we’ve made much progress in the last 22 months -- and Moody’s has acknowledged our ‘strong management and governance’ -- there is clearly much more work to do to grow the economy and make Vermont more affordable. Vermont didn’t get into this situation overnight and getting out is going to take more work. And it is essential that we do this work together on a bipartisan basis, and with the understanding, and sense of urgency, that it is essential to changing the economic trajectory of our state.
“I’m hopeful this report will help every elected official, every appointee in my Administration, and every state employee focus on the fundamentals of affordability and economic growth, and increase the pace at which we work together to get measurable results. It is necessary to ensure we can afford to preserve essential services and make new investments in our future.
“It is important to note that the report clearly says addressing our demographics and economic growth is the path back to the best possible fiscal health – and we are on that path. But this is about so much more than the ratings of a Wall Street agency – it’s about having a healthier, more vibrant and prosperous state for families and job creators.
“We can, and we will, change the economic and demographic trajectory of our state – if we share those goals and are all pulling in the same direction.
“I look forward to prioritizing this critically important work with the Legislature.”