Phil Scott on Budget & Economy



We need to keep our spending within existing revenue

I continue to believe we need to keep our spending within existing revenue. So in full transparency, you can expect my budget will increase by about 3%. I know from experience, many of you view 3% growth as an "austerity" approach. It's important to know that with this increase, and after meeting our obligations, we have very little money left. If you go higher, we will be spending more than we're taking in, leading to higher taxes and fees, adding to the burden Vermonters are already feeling.
Source: 2024 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature , Jan 4, 2024

Focus on affordability, economic growth & protect vulnerable

Incumbent Republican Gov. Phil Scott and his Democratic challenger, Brenda Siegel, offered dueling solutions to the state's most pressing issues and made their case for your vote. "We have to do things like have a progressive tax structure where the wealthy pay their fair share," Siegel said.

Vermont's problems, Scott contends, are borne out of a declining demographic and the pressure it puts on economic growth. He contends making Vermont affordable starts by taxing less, something he says he's been focused on for years. "We're already one of the highest taxed states in the country. I don't know how much more people can bear," Scott said.

Ultimately, Scott says a vote for him is a vote for civility in politics and for affordability, economic growth and protecting vulnerable Vermonters. Siegel argues the status quo is not working for Vermonters and that the state needs new policies on housing, substance use and climate change.

Source: WCAX News on 2022 Vermont Gubernatorial race , Oct 6, 2022

Invest ARPA funds in transformative infrastructure projects

Last year we received over $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act. Although some ARPA dollars went to other initiatives last year, I will ask you to follow through on the commitment you made to invest what's left in the transformative and tangible infrastructure projects I originally proposed. It is imperative we use it to achieve economic equity from region to region, not as a band-aid on something we will have to address again next year.
Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature , Feb 18, 2022

We must recognize housing policy is workforce policy

Workers we have can't afford to move up and the workers we want can't afford to move in. We must recognize housing policy is workforce policy. If you will work with me in budget adjustment to allocate $80 million more, we can show we are fully committed to this cause. And in the budget I will present in two weeks, you can expect to see another $100 million - because it's time get serious about putting the benefits of a good home and a good investment within the reach of every Vermonter.

We know we need more workers, and that also means we need to keep the good jobs we have and add more of them. That is why I will propose expanding the Capital Investment Grant program, which we created with $10 million last year, but we received applications for six times that amount. This program is helping employers, like childcare and senior centers, museums, theaters and agricultural businesses, enhance their facilities and keep good jobs and services here - so let's do more.

Source: 2022 State of the State Address to the Vermont legislature , Jan 5, 2022

We don't need more taxes; we need more taxpayers

These trends not only mean fewer in our workforce and schools, but fewer customers at businesses, ratepayers for utilities, fewer available for our volunteer fire departments and others who support the needs of our communities. On the campaign trail, a Burlington business owner told me, "We don't need more taxes--we need more taxpayers." So, this session, let's focus on strengthening those assets to keep and attract more working families, with an eye on reversing our population trends.

Last term, we worked together to create more housing Vermonters can afford. My budget will propose a package focused on growing the housing supply by revitalizing properties and investing in existing neighborhoods. It's not enough. We must do a better job telling our story and use it to aggressively recruit new Vermonters. Last year we launched a program offering incentives to remote workers who moved here. My budget will again propose a package that targets those likely to move.

Source: 2020 Vermont State of the State address , Jan 9, 2020

I won't sign a budget that exceeds reasonable limits

Lt. Gov. Phil Scott called for a collaborative approach to improving affordability for families. "I will neither propose nor will I sign a budget that exceeds these very reasonable limits. Working families need a break," said Scott, R-Vermont. "What we're really doing is creating an environment that is helpful to them and a state government that is by their side and not on their back."

Republican Bruce Lisman presented what he calls a multiyear approach to recast state government. "I'd manage the damn budget. Set spending at 2-3 percent per year to reset our finances and no new taxes. And find 2 percent efficiencies with a brilliant, motivated management team. Recharge our government by bringing real managers into it, those people we find not because we know them but because they're talented," Lisman said.

Both Republicans have said the state's health exchange has hurt the business climate in the state.

Source: WCAX coverage of 2016 Vermont gubernatorial debates , Dec 16, 2015

We're spending beyond our means; but cuts instead of taxes

I was encouraged to hear the Governor acknowledge the fact that we are, and have been, spending beyond our means. There was a lot of information in the speech, and it will take some time to gather the facts before delving into too many specific details. For example, during the speech I was having difficulty adding up the cuts proposed versus the additional taxes levied.

There were a number of areas within the speech where I do have concerns, one being that, while I agree we have a structural problem with the Medicaid cost shift, I'm hesitant to fund the 'fix' through a payroll tax. Opening the door to even a small increase will, in my opinion, lead us to further tax growth. Once that seed is planted, we have a te over-fertilize, and I fear there will be further proposals to increase taxes on Vermonters and small Vermont businesses, who are already struggling to make ends meet.

Source: Response to 2015 Vermont State of the State address , Jan 15, 2015

Other governors on Budget & Economy: Phil Scott on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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