Rep. Gina Galfetti's Floor Report

Galfetti: Preventing ‘Verfornia’ no easy job for Scott

by Rep. Gina Galfetti

The ceremonies of government are meant to impress, and as the Governor walked into the House chamber to give his budget address, I was once again struck with awe. 

Sitting in seat 6 in the front row brought me close to the center of the action. Phil Scott is one of Vermont’s most beloved Governors and his amiable attitude and willingness to greet people of all political persuasions on his way into the Chamber reaffirmed my belief in democracy. Scott has proven himself a capable leader in the face of Covid and the challenges of being nearly alone in the State House as the number of Republicans has waned.

I salute a man who has managed to hold off the far left agenda with little support. And it is here that all of us Republicans should take notice. Scott has walked a fine line between the folks who would like to see Vermont renamed “Verfornia” and those who still advocate for the “spirit of liberty…held by the people of this brave little state of Vermont” of which Calvin Coolidge spoke.   

It is not an easy path and he has irritated and disappointed those who fall on the far right. However, he plays a tune that most Vermonters, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, want to hear. And if we Republicans want to make a comeback, get elected, and make a difference, we had better start taking notes and can the ultra-right rhetoric if we want to win elections.

I was more than disappointed in a majority of the Senate, a number of members in the House, and the dyed-hair-sans-graying ponytail Progressive Lieutenant Governor as they feigned sleep, or doodled, or slumped back in their chairs as this capable Admiral set a course forward for the ship of state. Such behavior does not belong in these hallowed halls and certainly is not warranted in the face of a man who has brokered many agreements that benefit the people. 

I couldn’t help but think of vultures circling as they jockey for position on the wings of Scott’s retirement one day—a retirement that I hope is in the distant future.

Scott spoke to all of the issues: affordable housing; childcare; public safety; climate mitigation; and eliminating taxes on our veterans—issues that I had campaigned on. He did this with his eyes on Vermonters’ pockets and pledged not to raise taxes. This is a message that I can support fully and without reservations.

As I made my way back to my committee room, I was excited like a kid on Christmas. I was due to get a copy of the 2024 and 2025 Capital Budget. Let me explain: While the governor gave his address, the hard working folks in the Joint Fiscal Office placed binders labeled CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION PROPOSAL the desks of the Corrections and Institutions members desks. Inside this binder is the Governor’s proposed Capital Budget for 2024 and 2025. Unlike the budget of the General Fund, the Capital Budget is split into 2 years so that major projects can be planned—things like the overhauling of buildings and construction of new facilities.

Then, while others headed home on long drives back to far flung districts, I headed downstairs to the legislative lounge/computer room to put in some much needed time on my company’s Quickbooks, and I was taken aback. Here I was juggling just a few numbers and pulling my hair out, but somehow the Governor’s office had managed to pull together an eight billion dollar budget that will meet the needs of both urban and rural Vermonters and not raise taxes. No small feat to be sure!

I turned my attention to the window and the falling snow with hope – hope that the House and Senate don’t slice and dice the Governor’s budget into something unrecognizable. 

This hope may be short lived, however, since bills keep getting introduced like H. 5, which proposes that all water going vessels from steam-powered paddle boats to kayaks and rowboats be required to obtain a 20 dollar permit. Egad!  What a great way to prevent average families with children and small water craft from accessing state waters!  

There are other choice gems, like S.17 that would limit avenues for funding for county sheriffs. And the list goes on. We can all only hope that some of these bills die in committee or are amended to resemble something reasonable, but the tides are not in our favor. I will keep you posted.

This past week, I joined with others to co-sponsor a bill, H. 74, which proposes repealing the Global Warming Solutions Act. This is an act which last year’s legislators pretty much lifted from California’s play book. It is an Act that goes too far and burdens Vermonters with a Green initiative that is both too radical and way too expensive.  It sets goals that seem arbitrary and unachievable, and it gives anyone and everyone the right to bring suit against the State of Vermont if a person believes that the state is not achieving its goals.  

As much as I believe that the Global Warming Solutions Act needs to be repealed, I was unhappy that we did not offer an alternative to replace it with something that has more tenable goals and would protect the environment effectively without breaking the backs of Vermonters. I don’t believe in just saying “no” without offering an alternative, and I will be working with others to propose some viable alternatives. 

And so I end my laments here today and look forward to continuing my updates to my constituents of Barre Town and Williamstown as well as any other Vermonters who might be interested in this humble freshman’s insights (or lack thereof) into the 2023 Legislative Session.

Gina Galfetti is the Representative for the Washington/Orange District and can be contacted at: 802.461.3520 or

14 replies »

  1. When I started work under the golden dome in the early 80’s, I too was enamored by the history, tradition, and reverence of the building. I felt honored to be in the company of lawmakers who I respected for their public service. After one session, that all went away when I witnessed how the sausage is really made.

    Be wise and do not be swept away by the politcal spectacles and flowery speeches of man. Those with shiny words hold dark secrets that shroud dark hearts. The Devil can make any man or any thing appear good when under the spell of pride and envy.

  2. It’s good to see some appreciation for this man who has put the brakes on the total marxist breakdown of Vermont. Call him a RINO if you want, but he is as far right as any Governor could be to be elected in Vermont in this day and age. Just imagine how a freedom-minded Vermonter would absolutely cringe to hear the words: Gov. Zuckerman, Gov. Krowinski or Gov. Baruth…
    Thank you Phil, stand strong in the face of this socialist insanity.

    • Quite so. I too disagree with Scott on many issues, but he is the one that continues to be re-elected and is figuratively the last man standing in state politics to prevent the anarchy promised by the left. Is your representative or senator? I can only wish.

  3. The State of VT taxpayer is responsible for overhauling the aging Cherry Street Parking Garage in Burlington?! Since when?! Why is that not a City of Burlington problem to fix?

    An 8 BILLION dollar budget for our tiny state? Oh brother – we’re in trouble.

    • Have no fear it looks like the building will be sold. It’s prime real estate and we could use the money for something else!

    • Why, that’s just a mere $12,373.62 per citizen, assuming we hold children and retirees accountable. Everyone needs to do their part. For Cherry Street, and more gang shootouts! Say… why am I paying for parking there, anyway?

  4. Refreshing to read Gina’s comments on the inter-workings of government, amazing that anything gets done at all………………

  5. So Republicans have to continue to drift Leftward to get elected. If that’s the case what’s the point in being Republican. Scott went along with Fauci and Pfizer on the Covid scam and got the majority of Vermonters jabbed. Now that it is becoming known about sudden deaths, heart troubles, blood clots, etc., I’m not hearing any apologies.

    Offering alternatives to things like the GWSA is a trap. So you are going to advance a plan that is only slightly less Progressive and crazy? That will still move the ball in their direction and you can bet they will be back next year to move it further so that in the end they will get everything they want, only taking a little longer.

  6. If more VT Repubs took a campaign note from Mr. Scott as opposed to Mr. Trump, I can argue we would have a much closer House and Senate in terms of numbers across the state. The far-right crowd didn’t win alot of seats, but they sure kept some democrats in office by in-fighting in the party.

  7. Gina: first let me offer belated congratulations on being elected. That alone, as a Republican, is no small feat.

    Secondly, you are spot on with respect to the Governor and I hope you don’t get discouraged by commenters on here that prefer to call him names and disparage him. It is far easier to criticize than it is to stick one’s neck out to try and actually make a difference. The work you and the Governor are doing is difficult enough without letting naysayers get to you, and I can assure you there are plenty of VTGOP supporters who support you.

    Finally, cherish working under that beautiful golden dome as long as you can. It is an honor and a privilege to be given that opportunity. Your constituents will be grateful every time you send them an update like this one, even when they may disagree on a particular stance. Best wishes in your future endeavors.

    • I am glad to see that Joe Benning read the VT daily Chronicle articles and commentaries. There are many positive tidbits of information in these articles, most of which never make it in the mainstream media. The one comment that I will make in regards to Gov Scott is that he certainly let down a lot of Vermonters by his signing of the right to abortion, back in 2019 and in his support of Article 22 aka Prop 5 with the alleged right to reproductive autonomy.

Leave a Reply