FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Sunderland, VT Republican Chair
Date: September 19, 2014

VERMONT’S POVERTY RATE RISES
Governor Continues to Praise His Economy While Vermonters Suffer

Montpelier, VT – An Associated Press report released Thursday cites new U.S. Census Bureau data showing a clear increase in the number of Vermonters living in poverty from 2012 to 2013.

According to the data, 74,000 Vermonters were living below the poverty level in 2013 versus 71,000 in 2012 — an increase of more than 4 percent in only a twelve month period.

During this time — while spending 25% of his time vacationing in Canada and his private beach in the Caribbean, or raising millions of dollars from wealthy political donors across the U.S. — Governor Shumlin has repeatedly denied that Vermont’s economy was in any sort of trouble.

In fact, he continues to tout Vermont’s “growing economy” and the “thousands of jobs” created under his watch — without mentioning the thousands of jobs lost, the thousands of Vermonters who have given up looking for work or those who have had to leave their home state just to make ends meet and provide for their family.

But the numbers don’t lie.

There are fewer Vermonters working today than when Governor Shumlin took office in January of 2011. Our workforce has shrunk by over 8,800 Vermonters during that time and Vermont has endured hundreds of layoffs and plant closures in all corners of the state.

All the while, Governor Shumlin and his Legislature have offered no relief for struggling Vermonters or plans to get our economic house in order. Instead, it’s just more of the same.

While the most needy in our state — who want and deserve the opportunity to find a good job — wait, no comprehensive economic development plan has been offered by either Governor Shumlin or the Legislature. They continue to insist that the policies of Vermont’s past — the very policies that contributed to this sinking economy and growing income gap — are going to be the solutions of the future. Vermonters know better.

Vermonters want a Governor and a Legislature who see the condition of our economy with clear eyes, not politically motivated rose colored glasses.

We need a full time Governor who recognizes and has the interest — and ability — to focus on our state’s challenges 24/7 and who puts solving Vermont’s problems ahead of political fundraising and lavish extended vacations.

Vermonters deserve leadership that recognizes the hardships the stagnant economy places on them.

They deserve a Governor and Legislature that will offer real comprehensive economic development policies that remove the roadblocks to job creation, reduce the cost of living and allow those who want a job to find a good one — without leaving Vermont.

This is what Vermont Republicans offer and it’s what Vermonters deserve.

It’s time for a change.