At his June 14 press conference, Phil Scott got about as angry as the low-key governor ever gets in public. He’s teed off that more people aren’t watching the live, televised hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
During his weekly press conference Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott called on Vermonters to work to undo the harms caused by the social and economic shut down he imposed following the onset of COVID-19 in 2020.
“The investments we made this year will make a difference for Vermonters, building stronger communities, providing some tax relief, supporting kids and families and helping address long-term challenges like our workforce shortage and regional economic inequity,” Scott said.
The Democratic candidate for governor and an outspoken progressive columnist have chastised Gov. Phil Scott for his veto of H.728, which includes money to study “safe injection sites” for opioid users.
“From my standpoint, it seems counterintuitive to divert resources from proven harm reduction strategies to plan injection sites without clear data on the effectiveness of this approach.”
“Tax relief has always been my priority, but instead I’ve had to resort to preventing efforts to raise taxes over the last six years, so I’m encouraged the Legislature agreed with me this session that Vermonters need a break,” Scott said.
On Thursday Vermont’s governor used his veto pen to strike down drug decriminalization through a proposed Drug Use Standards Advisory Board, but he allowed ranked choice voting in Burlington City Council elections.
“[H.505] includes absolutely no recognition of the often-disastrous health and safety impacts of using drugs like fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and more. Nor does it acknowledge the role of enforcement in tracking down and stopping the dealers who seek to poison Vermonters.”
Scott was first elected in 2016. A centrist Republican, he is criticized by activists on both ends of the political spectrum but enjoys support from many Democrats and most Republicans.
The Republican governor highlighted using historic federal funding to invest in climate change mitigation, housing, economic development, community recovery, critical infrastructure such as broadband, and improvements to sewer and stormwater systems throughout the state.
“Just think about this,” 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 on Tuesday had the mayor of Vermont’s largest city and another housing policy expert on hand at his weekly press conference to tell Vermonters now is not the time for red tape when it comes to reforming the state’s land use law, Act 250.