Governor focuses on ‘economic equity’ in discussion of economic development

ST. JOHNSBURY — Speaking at his weekly press conference Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott focused on infrastructure and economic development while standing in front of the remodeling project of the Fairbanks Museum.

Vermont is allocating $40 million for the state’s Community Recovery and Revitalization Program to help downtowns stay economically healthy and to attain “economic equity,” the governor said. Applications for funds will look first at projects that “primarily serve BIPOC” interests.

Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook page

Vermont is allocating $40 million for the state’s Community Recovery and Revitalization Program to help downtowns stay economically healthy, Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday in St. Johnsbury.

“Awards will be made on a rolling, first-come-first-serve basis, except for the first 30 days, during which ACCD (Agency of Commerce and Community Development) will prioritize the review of applications that primarily serve BIPOC communities,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

At the appearance in St. Johnsbury, Scott said the economic development effort will go to “projects that across the state will help revitalize our rural economies.”

“Bringing more economic equity from region to region has been a priority for me and my team and the legislators here today,” Scott said. “… There’s a big economic gap between here and the northwestern part of our state.”

The funding is intended for capital improvements and can be distributed by nonprofits, for-profits, and municipal entities.

Money also will be directed toward industries most affected by the shutdowns during COVID-19. These include arts, entertainment, childcare, and educational services, for example. At the municipal level, money will target wastewater improvements especially, if it supports new or current housing.

Joan Goldstein, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Economic Development, said, “We are thrilled that municipalities can now apply for these grants and pitch them to their businesses and nonprofits. … There are quite a lot of municipalities lined up for water or wastewater projects.”

She said much of these funds are from DARPA and the American Rescue Plan Act. Up to $1 million can be allotted to each project, or up to 20% of the project’s cost. This will allow for at least 40 projects to receive aid.

Some critics posting on the governor’s Facebook page expressed frustration over Scott’s priorities.

“Speak about the “elephant” in the room, Gov! FIRST Priority: Secure Heating fuel, electricity For All this Winter season! Drop the tactics of Deflection away from the Crisis Upon Us Vermonters!” commented Diantha Gravelle.

Bill DeCosmo wrote, “Why not do something for the elderly people of the state?”

Rail strike averted?

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved new contracts with railroad workers including a 24% pay increase over five years, from 2020 to 2024, and an extra paid day off. Rail workers are also demanding seven days of paid sick leave.

Scott also issued a statement Tuesday addressing a potential national rail shutdown.

“A rail shutdown would severely disrupt the flow of essential resources throughout America, including heating fuels, salt for winter ice control, and many other supplies critical to the health and safety of Vermonters and all Americans.”

The governor said he supports the federal government intervening to force an agreement.

“I fully support President Biden’s request that Congress put in place the Tentative Agreement, which was agreed to earlier this year by workers and operators. Americans cannot withstand further supply disruptions, or cost increases, and I strongly encourage Congress to move quickly and send a bill to the President’s desk.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Image courtesy of Gov. Phil Scott's Facebook page

6 thoughts on “Governor focuses on ‘economic equity’ in discussion of economic development

  1. This was posted by Robert Steven Noble on another thread

    This is the truth about what is taking place in America today

    In the state of Vermont we had governor Phil Scott

    newly elected lieutenant governor David Zuckerman

    outgoing secretary of state Jim Condos all meeting with chinese representation…

    This is what Robert had to say:

    It’s all part of the “Takeover From Within” promised by the Communist Leader back in 1959.
    According to, “The Art Of War” by, Sun Tzu, The system of taking over another country from within takes, psychological manipulation, time and patience.
    You send devoted citizens to the other country to befriend the citizens of that country and gain their favor through psychological manipulation to get elected to powerful positions. Once in those positions, more psychological manipulation is used on the powerful positions on the same level and higher to change the way the citizens think about their own country and how it is run….

    It all takes from 60 to 80 years to takeover a powerful nation like the United States of America, but it doesn’t take that long for less powerful nations like, Cuba or Venezuela.
    They are almost done with the U.S.A.
    They are so good at it that you don’t even realize that your country is being taken over right under your own noses.

    They do it in a way that makes you think that they don’t know what they are doing, and they ALWAYS point the finger at their opponents to blame them for the wrong doings, but, the people still keep voting them into office, and things just keep getting worst.

    Are the people REALLY voting them back into office, or, is that just what they want you to believe???
    Those that cry fraud, are NEVER proven wrong, they are just demonised while the rest of the citizens are assured that there is no fraud. Without any investigation to prove it to positively assure the citizens that there is no fraud. Just “Hearsay.” Believe it or get demonized.

  2. BIPOC is a special interest group. Therefore, they receive special treatment, special concessions, special jobs, and are allowed to take special public money over anyone else who is not affiliated or neutral. They turned the mythical “privilege” of all taxpayers into “special privileges” for themselves. See how it works? They claim disadvantage, yet they reap advantages over other members of the commuities simply by claiming they can’t make it any other way – ignoring the fact that many of their peers succeed without the government handouts and “special” treatment. They claim to want equality but insist on being treated differently and demand “special” concessions over others. Sorcery and witchcraft.

    • Right on! special groups?want equity but want special treatment?
      How about us “taxpayers” ..?..maybe Gov Scott needs to focus on working people and seniors who bring IN revenue!

  3. A economic policy that serves 7.6 % of the population isn’t a very good economic policy. I can see that having not had even one economic class but do have COMMON SENSE. This is the human trait missing in 90% of our feckless leaders.

  4. Distribution of tax payer funds based on skin color is RACIST! How much color does an individual need to qualify? Who decides?

  5. This is Socialism courtesy of Social Justice agenda. Next step is communism. America is founded on equal access to resources, not equal outcomes. If equal outcomes can’t be achieved by family members growing up in the same household, all the same race. How can equal outcomes be obtained by all individuals of various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds? The answer is obvious, socialism. Equity (socialism) is mandated by the UN 2030 Agenda. The USAID also references the definition of equity as equal outcomes.

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