When I launched my campaign ten months ago, I said I was running for governor to rebuild Vermont’s economic foundation in order to move Vermont forward. With only a few weeks until election day, and having heard about the economic challenges of thousands of Vermonters in the interim, I am even more firmly committed to that pledge.
The last six years have shown what a lack of balance in Montpelier does to Vermont. With a Legislature and administration dominated by one party, we have a shrinking workforce and have seen $700 million in new taxes and fees, chronic budget deficits and a series of failed – and incredibly expensive – experiments. Current and future generations of Vermonters cannot afford more of the same. To take Vermont’s economy in a more prosperous direction, it is essential that our state leadership and legislators focus on economic growth and making Vermont more affordable for families and businesses. And if you elect me as your governor, they will be.
I want to ensure Vermonters know how I will lead this effort and make a real difference in their lives. I’ve, therefore, issued a comprehensive economic growth plan with more than 50 specific ideas, initiatives and proposals that form the foundation for what will be my administration’s approach to strengthening the economy, making Vermont more affordable and addressing our state’s top public health and safety priorities.
To make real progress, and to truly strengthen our economy to generate revenue organically, rather than on the backs of tax payers, we need a comprehensive approach that comes at the problem from all angles. That’s why my plan for economic development covers topics from workforce training and taxes to healthcare, broadband and housing. We will leave no stone unturned when considering how to drive economic growth. My entire administration will set clear and achievable economic goals, stay focused on the fundamentals, and prioritize areas where we have a regional, national and international edge.
This approach is centered around some key components. My administration will be committed to protecting jobs and retaining current employers; expanding our workforce and workforce training opportunities; revitalizing our economic centers, expanding innovation hubs and designating high-tech zones; putting healthcare reform back on track; increasing the availability of good homes that are affordable for working families; advancing pro-growth, pro-jobs tax policy; modernizing state government; and setting clear parameters to ensure state spending does not grow faster than the economy and your wages.
While I’m committed to the ideas and proposals I’ve put forth in my economic growth plan, and throughout the campaign, I know that no one person or political party has a monopoly on good ideas. As I’ve done throughout my career, I will consider all proposals for growing our economy and reducing the cost of living and doing business. And I will work with anyone, in any party, who shares these priorities.
What is very clear, however, is that our current approach of spending beyond Vermonters’ ability to pay, continuously raising taxes and fees and creating a climate that drives businesses and young Vermonters from the state, is not working and it is not sustainable.
We in Montpelier must work together, find common ground where it exists, and all move in the same direction. If we can focus firmly on improving the economy, I know we can accomplish great things. We can make Vermont more prosperous, enabling us to more sustainably support all Vermonters and better address the many challenges we face.
As a small business owner, I put my trust in the skills, work ethic and ingenuity of working Vermonters every day. You can count on me to lead a state government that leverages these core values – a talented workforce and our commitment to hard work and innovation – and focuses on restoring the economic and fiscal fundamentals that support job retention and creation, and result in a vibrant economy that expands the middle class and lifts wages.