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TRANSCRIPT: Governor Phil Scott Delivers 2024 Adjournment Address

May 11, 2024

Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott today delivered his annual adjournment address to lawmakers.

A transcript of the Senate-version of Governor’s remarks as prepared can be found below:

Governor Scott: Mr. President, Pro Tem. Baruth, Leader Clarkson, Leader Brock, and Members of the Senate:

It’s been a challenging few years for us. At the beginning of the biennium, we were still recovering from the pandemic, and then in between were hit with a natural disaster, the Flood of ‘23.

When I addressed you back in January, I talked about the people of Vermont who have stepped up for their neighbors and communities. Since then, we’ve seen and heard many other examples, including many stories coming to us from you, to highlight some of your constituents who just wanted to do some good.

Folks like Tracy Simon in Chelsea, who volunteered to be the emergency management director and spent hundreds of hours helping her neighbors during last summer’s flood.

And Mike Gonneville, who helps kids in Northfield get exercise and spend time with a multigenerational group of walkers and veterans.

Then there’s Nick Monte, from Arlington, who goes above and beyond to support local causes and promote the Bennington region.

And Dr. Butsch, who is well known throughout Washington County, not only for his 40 years providing care as a doctor, but also for his mentorship and support for hockey teams of all ages.


In the State of the State, I encouraged Vermonters to think about ways they can contribute, to carry the torch, and keep the things they care about going strong.

Whether that’s youth sports, the local theater, fire department or rescue squads, rotary, elks, moose and lions’ clubs. Or running for office – stepping up to serve, as you have all done. Too many leave it to others to take these roles on, assuming someone else will do it.

So I want to thank each of you for serving here in this building, whether we agree on issues or not. You’ve stepped up and taken on this responsibility, which I know isn’t always easy.


I want to thank a few committee chairs in particular for working closely with my team over the last couple of years: Senator Sears, Campion, Ingalls, Starr, Ram Hinsdale, Mazza, and of course Senator Kitchel.

And I also want to highlight three senators, who I served with when I was in this chamber, who I’ve heard won’t be returning next year.

Forgive me if there are more, I just haven’t heard yet.

First, 24 years ago when I was elected to the Senate, my very first Chair was Senator Dick McCormack on Natural Resources.

I didn’t know anything about politics or being a Senator. All I knew was that I was going to be serving in the Minority, with a Democratic governor.

I’ll always be thankful for how welcoming and inclusive Senator McCormack was.

I don’t think it’ll surprise many here, but we didn’t, and still don’t, agree on every issue, but he always made sure my perspective was heard. And I wish I’d kept all the hilarious notes he sent to me, and many others, in this chamber.

He made sure I felt like I was a part of the work, even though we were from different parties.

That was a lesson I took with me, how to treat members of a committee, when I became the Chair of Institutions a few years later.

So Dick, I want to thank you for your decades of service to Vermonters. You’ve truly made a difference.

Next, I’ve worked with Representative Starr, and then Senator Starr, for over 20 years.

During that time, he’s been such a strong supporter for the Northeast Kingdom and agriculture throughout Vermont.

Bobby has always been willing to do what he thinks is right and has been a voice for common sense and Vermont values.

Back in 2005, we had a new senator joining our ranks, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.

First of all, he was coming from the House, and you may not realize it, but sometimes there’s a bit of tension between the two bodies.

But I was especially concerned, because Bobby was one of the more ‘crafty’ House members.

But he and I shared something unique: we both had CDLs, and both owned equipment and trucks.

And Bobby completely won me over when he was running a load near Three Rivers Quebec right before our session started in January of 2006.

He was in a fiery crash, not of his doing, and there was also a young woman involved, trapped in her car and on fire. Without hesitation, Bobby ran to her aid and saved her life.

That told me everything I needed to know about Bobby and we’ve been good friends since.

So I want to once again thank you, Senator, for everything you’ve done for Vermont, and a young woman from Quebec.


Lastly, I want to acknowledge another Senator who is near and dear to many of us, Senator Dick Mazza.

He’s like family to me, and by the way, I still talk to him 2-3 times a week, and believe me, he’s watching what everyone is doing here very closely!

As soon as I got to this building as a newcomer, Senator Mazza took me under his wing.

It didn’t matter that I was a Republican and he was a Democrat. He put his faith and trust in me, as I did with him. And he hasn’t left my side in twenty-four years since.

Senator Mazza was truly the ‘Conscience of the Senate’ and I can’t think of anyone who cared more about this institution than he has. 

In all honesty, it’s been very difficult for me, and I know for many of you, to be here without him.


As the three Senators I mentioned certainly know, the work done in this building impacts Vermonters in every corner of the state, whether they voted for us or not.

And it gives us an opportunity to make a real difference, especially when we work together.

That’s why, in my budget address, I said there are so many things we can achieve, so many shared goals we can reach, if we take the time to get it right, focus on the fundamentals, and follow through, to make steady progress at a pace Vermonters can afford.

I think most of us want the same thing, vibrant neighborhoods full of families breathing life back into communities, healthy and safe kids filling classrooms and reaching their fullest potential, great jobs with solid employers, entrepreneurs from all walks of life, in a thriving, growing economy. We just have a different vision of how to get there.

And after this session, it’s clear we have a lot more work to do.

But again, I want to sincerely thank you for your service, and I’m sure our paths will cross again before you know it, and if they don’t, I wish you a more peaceful summer than we had last year.

And, to all you moms, Happy Mother’s Day.