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Governor Scott Echoes the Vermont Chamber’s Commitment to the Economy
In his Inaugural Address, many of the policy priorities presented by the Governor reflect those that the Vermont Chamber has highlighted. Housing, workforce recruitment and retention, and valuing economic stewardship, were all key themes.
On housing, the Governor discussed the need for regulatory reforms, to ensure housing can be built as quickly and affordably as needed. He called on legislators who campaigned on housing as a top priority to make modernization a priority this session. When reflecting on workforce shortages, an issue the Vermont Chamber has been shining a light on for years, he noted that the most recent data shows the gap is seven times the size it was in 2019, with Vermont in need of 22,500 workers. The Vermont Chamber has presented innovative ideas to address this problem
The Governor also reflected on inflation, and the economic conditions facing Vermonters, stating, “We must find ways to achieve our shared goals without adding taxes and fees because this only increases the cost of living.” The Governor went on to promote his voluntary paid family and medical leave program, which does not impose any new taxes while offering businesses a path to providing this benefit to employees. It is anticipated that the legislature’s alternate proposal may be funded by a significant payroll tax.
Governor Scott closed his speech by calling on the legislature to recognize the “once in a lifetime” opportunity of remaining one-time federal funds available from pandemic recovery assistance. The complete transcript of the speech is available, here. The Governor will address the legislature again on January 20th, when he presents his budget.
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