Reaction to governor's State of the State

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Reaction to governor's State of the State

Wed, 01/05/2022 - 5:07pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Elected leaders, business and healthcare experts have weighed-in on Governor Phil Scott's State of the State Address given remotely today before a joint session of the Legislature.

Statement of Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray on the 2022 State of the State 

This afternoon, Lieutenant Governor Gray released the following statement in response to Governor Scott’s 2022 State of the State address: 

“Over the last 7 months, I spent a day per week in a different county in our state meeting directly with Vermonters. Vermonters spoke, and I listened. When it comes to this pandemic and a stronger recovery we must be laser focused on the most pressing needs of Vermonters.  

In November, I shared a Recover Stronger Agenda for Vermont with the Governor and legislative leaders. I’m glad to see some of the priorities outlined in my report included in today’s State of the State: workforce development, affordable housing, accessible and affordable child care, adequate mental health and support services, and universal access to broadband. 

At no time in our history has Vermont been so well positioned to make historically significant investments in our infrastructure and working families. 

Working together, we can provide families the resources and support they need to not only survive but thrive. We can also make investments in infrastructure that will have a lasting effect on future generations. We must be united in swift action to provide the framework and assistance necessary for all Vermonters to be healthy, safe, and secure. I will continue to work to elevate the voices of Vermonters I’ve met with and heard from statewide and to urge focused and cooperative action.”  

Vermont Senate and House Republican Leaders React to Gov. Scott's 2022 State of the State Address

Vermont Senate Minority Leader Randy Brock (R-Franklin) and Vermont House Minority Leader Pattie McCoy (R-Poultney) released the following statement regarding Gov. Phil Scott's 2022 State of the State address:

"Vermont Republican legislators applaud Gov. Scott's continued focus on growing the size and scope of the workforce," said Sen. Brock. "Importantly, Gov. Scott's remarks signaled not only a desire to attract new workers to Vermont, but also to foster our existing workforce with increased job training, affordable housing, a strong education system, and healthy and safe communities. This piece of the puzzle is vital to demonstrating the state's commitment to working Vermonters, from Alburgh to Addison to Arlington."

"The rural communities that once formed the fabric of our state are suffering from not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but dangerous demographic trends that existed long before the current health crisis was an issue," added Rep. McCoy. "Attracting new Vermonters to our state through licensing reform, recruitment efforts, and support for military members is key to revitalizing these communities and supercharging our rural centers."

"Vermont Republican legislators are eager to partner with Gov. Scott on these important issues, which is why we're introducing a series of bills to reduce the cost of housing, ease occupational licensing burdens, curb rising health care costs, and more," noted Sen. Brock. "These legislative efforts represent our commitment towards building a more affordable state for current and future Vermonters alike."

"As the Governor noted, we have a shared vision for a more prosperous future for all Vermonters," said Rep. McCoy. "We look forward to working with Gov. Scott and his team this legislative session to secure a brighter path for our state."

In response to Governor Scott’s State of the State Address, Senator Ram Hinsdale (D-Chittenden) issued the following statement:

“While I always listen for opportunities to work collaboratively, Governor Phil Scott’s speech today did not address the true state of our State. He spoke to the need for more affordable housing and child care, and yet, he insisted on no new revenue. He wants to keep schools and businesses open, and yet, he still has not delivered on safety and testing. He wants to welcome refugees, and yet, he vetoed their right to vote locally. I hope to hear more solutions and substance in the Budget Address that truly articulate how we will move forward together when many families are feeling left behind.”

Statement from Vermont Chamber President and Vermont Futures Project Executive Director on Governor Scott’s State of the State Address

Responding to the address, Vermont Chamber President Betsy Bishop said, “Governor Scott’s speech today focused on our workforce and demographics challenge, issues that continue to top the Vermont Chamber agenda. We support initiatives to fund our training programs, build more housing, and provide relocation incentives, all of which will benefit from federal ARPA funds. However, Vermont’s disappearing workforce does not have an easy fix that can be solved with one time money. We need to encourage every Vermonter to participate in the workforce. There are jobs available for all skill levels in every industry. We need to tell our story nationally, that Vermont is a welcoming place for diverse populations, climate refugees, gig workers, and people who want to know they are part of a community.”

“Five years ago, the Vermont Futures Project estimated that we need 10,000 more workers annually and since the pandemic, that number has certainly increased. The Governor’s message today resonated as we plan for a robust economic future. With the help of recent federal funds, Vermont can invest in better broadband, more housing, accessible childcare and climate change initiatives. Focusing on increasing our population to strengthen our workforce is equally important and will prepare us for a strong future,” said Kevin Chu, Executive Director of the Vermont Futures Project.

UVM Health Network statement on Governor Phil Scott's State of the State address

The UVM Health Network would like to thank Governor Phil Scott for highlighting policy priorities that acknowledge the sacrifice and stress our health care workforce has faced over the past two years, and for seeking to strengthen and support our health care system and address our state’s mental health crisis. Only by working together can we retain the hard-working and dedicated people who come to work every day to care for our communities, let alone encourage additional talent from within and outside of Vermont to join us and work here.

We applaud efforts to invest in housing, education supports, infrastructure and child care as well, because we know that a healthy Vermont is achieved when our communities and environment are clean and safe, and when people have the supports they need to thrive.

We have a long road to recovery ahead, and there will be significant bumps along the way, but we share the optimism and positivity exuded today, and know that we can make real progress together when we put the needs of our patients and communities at the center of our work.

Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems Statement On Governor Phil Scott’s State of the State Address

Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems President and CEO Jeff Tieman issued the following statement today in response to Governor Phil Scott’s State of the State Address and the recent announcement with US Senator Bernie Sanders, Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint and House Speaker Jill Krowinski about investments in health care and workforce.

“Today’s speech by Governor Scott demonstrates a clear and direct commitment to Vermont’s strained but mighty health care system. The policies outlined today, coupled with this week’s announcement alongside Senator Bernie Sanders and legislative leaders, is a welcome step for our beleaguered workforce. On behalf of the tens of thousands of health care workers who continue to show up every day and care for Vermonters through this unrelenting pandemic, I want to thank our leaders for their teamwork to make progress on these critical issues. We are fortunate to live in a place where we cast aside political differences and officials come together, united in common purpose, to do what is right for our state.

“Our health care workforce was strained before the COVID-19 pandemic and as we near the two-year mark, these brave and selfless caregivers need our continued backing. We are pleased to see that in addition to advancing policies that enhance investments in workforce education and training, the Governor and lawmakers also commit to additional housing and childcare investments. These initiatives make living and raising a family in Vermont possible for more potential health care workers. Taken together, these policies will help us retain and support the workforce we have and recruit and attract workers to our beautiful state.

“Not only is our workforce stressed; Vermonters are suffering too. We have set records for overdose deaths in the last two years; our emergency departments are full of mental health patients who lack access to appropriate care and delayed routine care and screenings have more Vermonters presenting in our hospitals with severe illness. All of these neighbors and friends require and deserve a strong system that is able to provide care when they need it. Today’s announcement of new investments in health care will strengthen the health care system at every level.

“We must continue to seek creative solutions to these very difficult challenges. VAHHS is committed to this ongoing work and we look forward to continued collaboration with lawmakers in the weeks and months to come.”