News Release — Vermont Democratic Party
June 19, 2017
Vermont Democrats to Governor Scott: Half the Battle is Showing Up
Montpelier, VT – Following Governor Scott’s veto of a budget that had passed 143-1 in the House and 30-0 in the Senate, Vermont faces an unprecedented government shutdown on July 1st. The budget veto, which is only the second in state history, will put the brakes on $5.8 billion dollars of appropriations to all agencies, departments, commissions and other entities. A government shutdown would have a real and immediate impact on all Vermonters, not just those directly receiving services.
On June 14-16, citizen legislators, all of whom are part-time and most of whom have other jobs sat down to hash out a compromise. The Governor, who ran a campaign touting his talent for reaching across the aisle, failed to attend even a single negotiation session. Instead, he delegated this important duty to his staff.
His public appearance schedule over that period included attending electric co-op meetings, visiting the Small Business Administration awards, stopping by the Smart Growth Summit and holding a weekly press conference. “The events the Governor attended are all worthwhile, but as government careens towards a shutdown it might be time to prioritize and get out of campaign mode.” said VDP Executive Director Conor Casey.
On Thursday evening, the Governor was driving at Thunder Road, where he races professionally. “This absentee leadership is unacceptable,” said Casey. “We don’t need a governor who delegates his single biggest responsibility. We need a governor who leads.”
Governor Scott, who campaigned for the need for a 90-day legislative session, is dragging the 2017 session to it’s latest date in recent history. “The Legislature didn’t pick this fight,” said Casey. “They passed a tri-partisan budget that served the needs of Vermonters without increasing taxes. The Governor thanked them by taking a page out of the Paul Ryan playbook and holding the budget hostage. This is a farce and he at the very least owes it to Vermonters to show up and finish what he started.”