GOP leaders: Republicans in the Legislature will have a laser focus on post-COVID recovery

Editor’s note: This commentary is by Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock, R-Franklin, and House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy, R-Poultney.

It’s happened — 2020 has finally ended, and a new year is upon us. Last year delivered a global pandemic that affected every Vermonter in ways that have not been seen in a century. As 2021 unfolds, dealing with the huge challenges that have emerged demands vision, determination and the recognition that hard work lies ahead.

state of Vermont

Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock, R-Franklin

That’s why Republicans in the Legislature this year will make good on their campaign promises to have a laser focus on post-COVID recovery in three specific areas.

First, we must concentrate on addressing the needs of the individual Vermonters and Vermont businesses that need help now because of the way the virus has impacted their daily lives. We will work to ensure that federal stimulus money is allocated wisely and fairly. Republicans are committed to doing everything in our power to hold the line that our caucus did last year to make sure that as much money as is legally possible goes into the hands of those Vermonters who have been affected. We will avoid the temptation of some to use COVID funding as a way to channel that money back into existing state programs that have struggled because of prior financial mismanagement, not because of COVID and the response. Your Republican legislators will also be looking to sound the alarm and, when possible, stop any attempts to further burden COVID-affected Vermonters through unrelated new taxes, fees or costly regulations. In their attempt to help, we must make sure that others in the General Assembly first do no harm to an already weakened economy.

Second, we will propose new legislation that is designed to improve our economy and make government work better.

We are again introducing legislation that would end the tax on military pensions, taxes that only seven states continue fully to collect. The soon-to-be retiring armed forces nurses and other health care professionals are ideal candidates to help Vermont resolve our critical shortage of workers and to actually gain new revenues by adding to our tax base. The shortage of key skills today costs Vermont millions of dollars annually as we import travelling workers from other states to fill the need. We want Vermont to be an attractive place for those military retirees so they will bring their skills to our hospitals and other workplaces that need them.

state of Vermont

House Minority Leader Patricia McCoy, R-Poultney

To address important individual health needs, Republican legislators, with support from the governor, again will be proposing a new voluntary Paid Family Leave program. The proposal would avoid adding a costly and burdensome statewide payroll tax on the businesses that can least afford it — but also provide a simple solution to those businesses that want to make it available to their employees on an opt-in basis.

Vermont Republicans will also propose new approaches for dealing with Vermont’s chronic shortage of truly affordable housing.

The pandemic has reinforced the need to bring high speed broadband and cellular service to all of Vermont. In conjunction with the governor, we will be proposing new measures to bring modern connectivity to all Vermonters, especially those in rural areas. We hope that all of our colleagues will join with us in this critical effort.

Third, we’ll work to lighten the load on every Vermonter by making our state government more efficient, more secure and focused on the core programs that make the biggest impact. We need to examine everything we do and innovate to find new ways to make state government less costly and less labor intensive.

COVID has forced every business, and even many agencies within state government, to rethink what services and procedures are truly essential. We must get creative about ways to accomplish the same workload when we have less people in state office buildings. Dumping more work on fewer employees will only yield worse results for everyone. We must use lessons learned from COVID and apply best practices from elsewhere to equip our existing state workforce with streamlined tools and processes.

There are many other issues Republicans will face and fight for in this legislative session, but the work to recover from the pandemic and to rebuild our economy unite Republicans from across the state. This is our main focus; this is our primary mission. The Republican caucus will be working hard to keep the General Assembly on task and on mission.

We pledge to do this important work with a spirit of cooperation and collegiality with all members, regardless of political affiliation. And while we may not have the legislative majority, let it not be said that Vermont Republicans do not have the ideas and the resolve to move us all forward.

Image courtesy of state of Vermont

16 thoughts on “GOP leaders: Republicans in the Legislature will have a laser focus on post-COVID recovery

  1. Laser-focus is drilling down to signal vs noise aka SNR. Tho a vast science-engineering application used in computer science and coding – concept is used in other applications such as psychology, information technology and media as all physics-related concepts are interchangeable.

    My introduction via Steve Bannon War Room Pandemic website is applicable to politics – related to shutting out noise and assigning focus to zeroing in on facts and information that matter while shutting out the noise that is essentially distraction – and relatable to abstract thinking: SNR Primer
    Signal vs. Noise
    My approach to software development in four words: Less noise. More signal.
    Mike Wolfe
    30 Oct 2020 • 4 min read

    The War Room

  2. The Republican party also needs to address the Great Barrington Declaration and press for allowing, and advocating for, the use of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to fight the pandemic. These low-cost and safe drugs are a means of treatment for those Vermonters who, in good conscience, have every right to refuse any vaccine without repercussions for their decisions, in keeping with Article 6 of the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.

    With the use of ivermectin, in particular, Vermont can open up completely. We already have, to some extent, although we pretend that “we’re following the rules.” I live in ski area. You can’t tell me that those cars coming up every weekend, causing traffic problems in key areas just like they’ve done every other year, are self-isolating for two weeks before they hit the slopes, stores, and restaurants, because they go back home after the weekend. I’m all for it and don’t think this should be stopped; my point is that all of this is a farce anyhow, and we need to open the state up, promote ivermectin, and tell those who want to destroy livelihoods and our social fabric to jump in the nearest frozen lake where the ice is thinnest. Open up, and let those who swallow the fear-mongering stay in their homes and go around with masks and gloves: no one will stop them, and Vermonters are polite enough to give them their six feet. Let the rest of us decide for ourselves what we want to do, and tell Big Doctor to jump in that lake, too. When we had the Hong Kong flu that killed millions, no one shut down Disneyland and no one shut down Woodstock. No one shut down anything and that disease, unlike Covid, killed children readily. We’re letting Big Doctor take our liberties and it’s well past time to tell Big Doctor that no one takes our liberties. We’re not a stupid, dumb, unthinking, illiterate, childish people who need to be herded. We can think and decide for ourselves. We do not need petty tyrants. So would you work on that, too, please?

    • Mr Freitag: Another attempt to derail a thread devoted to Republican plans to help VT business, VTers and our economy by posting another repetitive looong offtopic screed?

      So sorry your Democrat Party is too busy wrecking our economy and crafting silly selfrighteous legislation which will destroy our state to help VTers but plenty of time to demand employers make combution-free options for employees and other acts of abject stupidity – birds of a feather much lol May I suggest you find a better hobby – oh and your bridge is unattended sir.

      • The editors of True North Reports know who I am (my full name) and where I live, and they know that I’m not Mr. Freitag, and so does Mr. Freitag. There are other contributors here who know who I am, and I am not Mr. Freitag. However, I will never tell you who I am and where I live because I don’t appreciate being harassed by nutcases.

  3. Thanks Senator Brock and Minority Leader Ms. McCoy – wishing the VT GOP all the best and thanks for stepping up to serve VT! 😀

  4. Slamming GOP because it’s suddenly *cool* – soo lazy! I’ll take a glass of water with an R lol – at least potentially one less destructive Democrat vote. Democrat Party everywhere the real enemy here and the ones ruining our state and nation aided and abetted with their water carriers masquerading as ‘conservatives’.

    Kindly give specific examples not just the standard fare of generous helpings of insults and repeated rhetoric ad nauseum – or it’s just more of the same bs shoveled here from the usual suspects – *facepalm*

    Propaganda is used to demonize – as Goebbels infamously stated ‘a lie repeated often enough becomes accepted as truth’ – looks like he’s alive and well on TNR.

    Also wish to express appreciation for those who carefully present factual information and the links

  5. For the past decade or more, Vermont Republican leadership has chosen to just react to the Democratic agenda placed in front of them. They refuse to even get a conversation going by introducing legislation to show Vermonters what Republicans would do.

    Example: They need to introduce a Repeal and Replace legislation for the GWSA bill, hold a press conference and explain why they are introducing it. GWSA was fraudulently sold to Vermonters as reducing Global warming (it will not) and has created a committee with many members having conflicts of interests to even be on it. ( Even a House Democrat noticed this and introduced legislation to try and address it) Plus. the current GWSA will have very regressive taxes and reforms hunting the most vulnerable and the middle class working Vermonters and our low income seniors.

    Republicans, try leading, you just may make in out of the minority someday.

  6. Audit the election please.

    Get things set up properly so there are no more questions.

    Prosecute those who broke the law please.

  7. I think one of the first things you should do is present a list of all the people that decided to turn their back on our great president Donald Trump.

    Of course I don’t expect that will ever happen because we have now become like the democrat party and we do our best work in the dark of night.

    So now let you some socialist tactics and start throwing hard-working taxpayers money into the mix.

    If you can’t baffle them with bull crap throw some money at them

    So generous of you people to spend taxpayers money without asking the taxpayers how they would like it spent.

    This is nothing but an attempt to defuse the stupidity of signing on with our turncoat republican governor that voted for Joe Biden.

    At some point every one of you will be exposed for the dirty deed you did to the vermonters that were enjoying the successes of the greatest president ever.

    At some point the traitors will be heald accountable.

    True patriots that believe in accountability in our government will never allow you to get away with this.

    Thank you to the fine people in the republican party that had the brains and the guts to stand up to the stupidity of the rest of these turncoats.

    I’m speaking for myself when I say I couldn’t be more disgusted with those in the republican party that I trusted and fought for that have done this dirty deed.

    You should hang your heads in shame but I don’t believe any one of you have such an emotion.

    • I completely concur – and I supported our Rep with my time and money. Will not make that mistake again. She should be booted from the VT Republican party, because she will not win another election.

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