Governor Phil Scott delivers adjournment address

Montpelier, Vt. — Governor Phil Scott today delivered his annual adjournment address to lawmakers, marking the end of the 2022 legislative session and the 2021-2022 biennium.

At the beginning of the session, Governor Scott outlined the once-in-a-generation opportunity before lawmakers with record surpluses and the infusion of federal recovery funds.

U.S. Department of State

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott

As a result, the State will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in climate change mitigation, housing, economic development and community recovery, critical infrastructure like broadband, water, sewer and stormwater systems, and more.

“Just think about this,” Governor Scott said Thursday. “After years of debating how to spend hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, for programs and new initiatives, we’ve invested billions this session on transformative projects that will put Vermont on a new trajectory.”

The Governor also emphasized the importance of working together, respectfully.

“It took work to build consensus on some issues, find compromise on others, and let the process take its course in the areas where we couldn’t find agreement,” he said. “And we showed that even when we disagree, we can be respectful and civil. My hope is, we will be an example for others and show that putting politics aside is the best way to give the people the results they deserve.”

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

Governor Scott: Madam President, Pro Tem Balint, Majority Leader Clarkson, Minority Leader Brock, and Members of the Senate.

It’s great to be here with many of my former colleagues, friends, and possibly even Vermont’s next Congresswoman or several other statewide office holders, for that matter.

I realize this has been a difficult biennium for Vermonters and legislators alike. But it was one where we made truly historic investments in shared priorities including housing, water/sewer/storm and traditional infrastructure, broadband, and combating climate change.

***

In January, I shared my optimism for the opportunity we were presented thanks to billions in federal aid and unprecedented state surpluses.

I talked about the potential to combine good ideas, thoughtful legislation, and historic financial resources to put our state on the path to a better, brighter future.

And while it was far from easy and we had a few pointed policy debates on some big issues, I’m proud of what we achieved this session and I hope you are as well.

One takeaway from the last two years, and I think Senator Kitchel will agree, is that in some ways it’s actually harder when you have more money than when you don’t have enough! But to be clear, I’d still rather have surpluses than deficits!

Just think about this. After years of debating how to spend hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, for programs and new initiatives, we’ve invested billions this session on transformative projects that will put Vermont on a new trajectory.

Because of our work, communities will get the infrastructure they need to bring in more jobs and housing, and families can replace water and sewer systems that have been unusable.

We’ll finally fulfill the promise of broadband that governors and legislators have struggled with for decades.

And with a quarter-billion dollars for housing, on top of our significant investments three years ago, we can hopefully turn the corner on the tremendous shortage of decent, affordable homes we face.

We worked to make our state more inclusive, standing up for the transgender rights, and to better protect all citizens from threats to their safety.

Importantly, we all stood together, unanimously, to protect democracy by passing a bill in a matter of days to provide over $600,000 to help the people of Ukraine.

That says a lot about who we are and the values we share, regardless of party.

***

I also want to take a moment to thank those who aren’t running again for your service to Vermonters.

I’ve had the honor of serving with, and learning from, many of you over my many years in the Senate.

We’ll have more to say about your contributions individually in the weeks and months ahead, but I want you to know how fortunate Vermonters have been to have had you here, contributing in your own ways.

Public service isn’t easy. In fact, just putting yourself out there to run is tough. So, thanks for all you’ve done here in this building, and what I’m sure you’ll continue to do for your communities in the future.

As I’ve said, you can walk away knowing what a significant impact you made for Vermont, especially over the last two years.

***

And that goes for all those who are staying on as well.

I know at the end of the session most of the attention is on areas of disagreement, but that really overshadows the things we do that have cross-party support like the T-Bill, which I understand passed unanimously, which isn’t unusual, and in record time which Senator Mazza tells me every year.

It took work to build consensus on some issues, find compromise on others, and let the process take its course in the areas where we couldn’t find agreement.

And we showed that even when we disagree, we can be respectful, and civil, something not every state government can say and definitely can’t be said at the federal level.

My hope is we will be an example for others and show that putting politics aside is the best way to give the people the results they deserve.

And that’s just what we did.

With an $8-billion budget, we’ve made investments that will move us further towards a Vermont that can keep and create good jobs, build affordable homes, and support communities across the state.

A state where all kids are getting the best education whether they go to the largest school, or the smallest.

Where families keep more of what they earn, and where we get closer to having a healthy and vibrant economy in all 14 counties, so we can protect the vulnerable and invest in the things we care about most.

That’s the vision I outlined in January, and we took some big steps towards reaching it this year.

Thank you again for all you’ve done.

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 12, 2022

Contact:
Jason Maulucci, Press Secretary
Office of the Governor
Jason.Maulucci@vermont.gov

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of State
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3 thoughts on “Governor Phil Scott delivers adjournment address

  1. Four and a half month long session for the tiny state of Vermont! That is perhaps Vermont’s biggest problem because Vermonters that have real lives are not in a position to take that much time off from real life. The result is the legislature does not at all represent the people who make up Vermont and even if those elected are well-meaning, they do not as a body have a good feel for real life.

    Take a minute and consider the various levers of adjustment in a state budget. Surely they are few and likely non of them, with the exception of the news ones added every session, have much available adjustment.

    So, why does the legislature need 4-1/2 months? Answer: To keep Vermonters who live and work in the competitive market-place out of the legislature, so the far left can use the house that belongs to all Vermonters to push far reaching and long ago failed ideas on to our nation. If you are a working Vermonter and want state policies to represent you, you are going to have to demand much shorter session. Maybe even run with the understanding that you expect and plan to be done the session in no more than two months, like it was a few decades ago before it started expanding its mission to be a focus on pushing a national agenda rather than doing what is best for the people of Vermont.

  2. A State population of roughly 645,000 – last year, a budget of over $7 billion – this year over $8 billion. The numbers don’t add up other than to prove the State is involvent and collapsing. In the meantime, the grifters and the bureaucrats are cleaning up. A cesspool of corruption.

  3. How about doing something really needed, like reviewing every regulation and getting rid of the ones we don’t need, instead of spending money we don’t have.

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