Chair’s Update: 17 January 2014
VT GOP Chair, Dave Sunderland
Governor Shumlin’s State of the State Address
In his State of the State address, Governor Shumlin chose to ignore Vermont’s growing crisis of affordability, our chronic need for job creation, and the pleas of Vermonters for tax relief. While we strongly agree that the abuse of drugs in Vermont is horrific and needs to be addressed at multiple levels, we also know that our leadership cannot ignore Vermont’s other challenges while doing so. No problem is one dimensional and our Governor cannot afford to be either. You can read the VTGOP response to Governor Shumlin’s State of the State address HERE.
Governor Shumlin’s Budget Address
Vermonters young and old were looking for leadership. After years of rising fees, rising taxes, rising energy costs, rising education costs, declining revenues, and an anemic economy, Vermonters looked to Governor Shumlin for hope and for a plan to make Vermont more affordable for themselves and their families. It was clearly time for innovative new ideas for policy reforms that would grow jobs, stimulate our state’s economy, and return prosperity to Vermont. Vermonters hoped for a plan to eliminate the $70-million Shumlin budget deficit and finally put Vermont on a course to close the fiscal gap in the Vermont State Teachers’ Retirement System (VSTRS). What Vermonters got was another laundry list of new programs and increased spending with little hope of restoring our economy to vibrancy. You can read the Governor’s entire speech HERE and our strong and clear response HERE. House Republican Leader Rep. Don Turner also had a great response to the Governor’s speech and you can read that HERE. Clearly, Representative Turner has been busy! You can also listen to his discussion with Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding on VPR HERE. Good work Rep. Turner!
Vermont Republicans are Listening
We have launched a new website to gather feedback from Vermonters on their experience with the faltering health insurance exchange website, Vermont Health Connect. The website, http://vthealthreport.com/, allows Vermonters to share their experiences with us as we continue to promote positive alternatives to the Shumlin Administration’s government run, taxpayer financed health care plans. Please share this site with those you know who may have a story to tell!
Yes, Your Vermont Health Connect Payments Really Are Being Processed Out of State
We were shocked to learn that payments and invoices for the troubled Vermont Health Connect insurance exchange were quietly being sent to NEBRASKA for processing! With so many Vermonters looking for jobs and our state thirsty for job growth, we called out the Governor for this action. You can read our press release on this topic HERE.
Governor Shumlin’s Financial (Non)Disclosure
VTGOP Political Director Brent Burns got a chuckle out of Governor Shumlin’s strong statement in support of financial disclosure for elected officials. Read his “Fact Check No.2 HERE to learn why!
Vermont Republicans have positive and forward looking solutions to the problems our state is facing. By restoring balance to the lopsided super-majority in Montpelier, we can bring about the change that Vermonters deserve and demand. You can help us right now! Please follow this link and make a donation of ANY size to help us make that vision a reality. Click here to say:
In Case You Missed It
Our messages received some great exposure in local and regional news outlets. Here are just a few (click on the titles to go to the stories):
Vermont Health Call Center Beefed Up Out of State – Boston.com
Vermont House Republicans Demand Delay – VTDigger.com
It has been a busy couple weeks in Vermont politics. With the legislature now back in session, the Vermont Republican Party remains committed to making our state a more affordable place for Vermonters to live, work, and raise their families. Thank you all for your continued support for our party.
Chair, Vermont Republican Party