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Governor highlights demographics in State of State address

Gov. Phil Scott delivers his State of the State address to a joint assembly of the general assembly at the Statehouse in Montpelier on Thursday, January 9, 2020. Photo by Glenn Russell/VTDigger

Governor Phil Scott delivered his 2020 State of the State address on Jan. 9, calling for unity and collaborative leadership in making a difference in the lives of Vermonters across the state.

The governor cited Vermont’s growing demographic crisis as the largest threat to sustainable growth. With addressing demographic trends being the governor’s primary focus, he highlighted several proposals to grow the state’s labor force, including relocation incentives, education and training investments, streamlined licensing procedures and targeted tax relief.

“This is what a demographic crisis looks like. In too many places, and in the lives of too many Vermonters, I see and feel the emotional and financial toll of policies built for the areas in the state that can afford them when the rest of the state cannot,” said Scott. “It’s hurting people. It’s regressive. It’s creating regional inequity. And it’s by far the biggest and most immediate challenge to our state and the ability of government to help shape the future.”

Scott reaffirmed his commitment to strengthening Vermont’s cradle-to-career education system, proposing expanded after-school opportunities for all kids.

He also focused on supporting healthy, safe communities through substance use prevention, criminal justice reforms and more.

In continuing to make Vermont more affordable and grow the economy in all regions of the state, the governor proposed investment in affordable housing for working families, Act 250 modernization to spur downtown development while combatting climate change and increased access and incentives for electric vehicles and clean energy storage.

The governor outlined the opportunity this legislative session to work together to help people, exclaiming, “If we’re willing to focus on doing the work, on caring more about the details than we do the talking points; if we can build consensus and trust and avoid national political agendas deliberately designed to divide us; if we focus on the fundamentals: a better, more modern government, a stronger fiscal foundation and policy that’s truly equitable, then our businesses and economy will grow, putting more kids in our schools and broadening our tax base, making our communities stronger and more resilient than ever before.”

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