Press Release

Adjourned! Guv, House & Senate leaders praise accomplishments of 2023 Legislature

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today delivered his annual adjournment address to lawmakers. The transcript appears below.

(U.S. Air National Guard photo illustration by Tech. Sgt. Sarah Mattison)

It’s always good to be back in the ‘Green Room,’ having spent 16 years working in this chamber.

And every one of those years, Vanessa Davidson was working – mostly behind the scenes – making sure the train was running on schedule. We’ll certainly miss her diligence, expertise, and loyalty to this body.

And I appreciate being here today, despite our differences and disagreements because that’s the way government should work. We can negotiate the issues, work towards consensus and compromise or, as appears to be the case this year, agree to disagree in some areas – all while remaining civil and respectful.


When I addressed you at the start of the session, I said – thanks to billions in federal aid, and the fiscal discipline we’d practiced for three years leading up to the pandemic – we were in good financial shape and could build our FY24 budget with hundreds of millions in state surplus.

I asked you to work with me, to seize the moment to change the trajectory of our state, and specifically for communities that have been left behind for far too long.

To me, that meant following through on what we started two years ago: focusing on the fundamentals, using these historic, one time stimulus funds to revitalize our county economic centers and the communities that surround them. Investing in basic infrastructure like housing, broadband, roads and bridges, climate resiliency, and the water, sewer and stormwater systems needed for both clean water and economic growth. At the same time, we proposed ideas to address our workforce challenges, including making historic investments in childcare, tax relief for Vermonters who need it most, strengthening downtowns, and workforce training and recruitment with a renewed focus on Career Technical Education. Because this is how I think we make Vermont better: By helping families and communities get ahead.

And you supported a number of these initiatives.

That includes investments to welcome more refugees, who then contribute to our workforce and communities; and grants to make it easier for smaller, long-forgotten towns and villages to access federal funds.

We expanded important health services to more regions and more Vermonters, including dental care, mental health, and substance use treatment and prevention.

And while I truly believe we must do more on Act 250 in order to solve our housing crisis, we did take some steps toward smart regulatory reforms to build more housing, which we desperately need in many areas of the state.


But in January, I also talked about how important it was to consider the impact – and the cost – of every decision we make on the families and places that need our help most.

Because the fact is, for too many years our regional economic centers like Springfield, Bellows Falls, Bennington, St. Johnsbury, Rutland, Newport, and my hometown of Barre, have been asked to shoulder higher costs and more mandates, with fewer people.

From my perspective, in order to revitalize communities and welcome more workers across the state, we’ve got to make Vermont more affordable. With high inflation and the looming economic storm clouds on the horizon, Vermonters are nervous and already stretched too thin.

And to be clear, if we’re taking money out of one pocket to put it into the other, that’s not making anything more affordable.

Right now, it appears this is an area where we disagree.


Every single one of your towns elected me and you, because they wanted balance, and they want sustainable solutions at a price they can afford.

And it’s not as though we disagree on the goals. It’s the ‘how’ and the pace in which we get there where there is disagreement.

I know this isn’t what the majority of you want to hear, but I believe we’ll have another opportunity to give them that balance next month.

But it’s going to take both of us to make that happen.

Thank you again for respecting the process, and I hope you get to enjoy our beautiful state over the next few weeks.

House Speaker praises ‘significant step in addressing Vermont’s housing crisis’

Montpelier, Vt. – Today, the House of Representatives approved the State budget for the fiscal year 2024, approved child care and workforce bill H.217, and ended the first year of the legislative biennium. Speaker of the House Jill Krowinski issued the following statement following the conclusion of the legislative session: 

House Speaker Rep. Jill Krowinski

“Today, the House has taken a significant step in addressing Vermont’s housing crisis,” stated Speaker Krowinski. “The budget is the culmination of months of work that reflects the commitment and dedication of the legislature toward building a resilient, more inclusive Vermont. The $8.4 billion budget is a reflection of our values. It addresses critical areas such as housing assistance, healthcare, education, workforce development, and the infrastructure vital in improving all Vermonters’ lives.

“Our economy and the lives of Vermonters have been detrimentally impacted by not having access to child care for too long. Without this policy, we cost Vermonters millions in lost wages and businesses millions in lost purchases yearly. By investing in universal child care, we are leading the nation, providing a tremendous benefit not just to families but to everyone in all 14 counties.

“Since the beginning of this biennium, we have spent hundreds of hours together forging paths to better our state. It is in service of this endeavor that the House has achieved the passing of dozens of landmark legislation. As we look forward to the second half of the biennium, I am eager to continue the work of bettering our great state.”

Baruth praises progress in climate change, gun safety, housing, and child care

Montpelier, VT – Following the Senate’s adjournment of the 2023 legislative session, Senator Baruth delivered the following remarks to the Senate:

My heart is full but I will do my best to be brief. On the first day of the session, I said that we would confront unexpected miracles and crises, and we have. Through our new temporary rules, we’ve helped our Senate colleagues through the birth of a child, and the sudden death of a loved one. We’ve seen our ten newest members — a group I once called the Big Ten, but which Senator Norris immediately changed to The Perfect Ten — step seamlessly into the chamber, and perform from the get-go at a very sophisticated level indeed. All ten of you have done us proud, and you’ve revitalized this institution with your contributions. Thank you for that.

Pro Tem Sen. Phil Baruth

And thank you to my leadership team colleagues, Senators Clarkson, Perchlik, and White. Our vote-counting in particular has been absolutely eerie in its accuracy, and that’s the heart of what we do. It’s been a privilege to work with all three of you. As always I’ve leaned on our Senate Secretary on every question every single day, and he has never once steered me wrong — with the possible exception of opposing the removal of jackets in the chamber.

When we held our first Democratic/Progressive caucus prior to the session, we talked about our priorities and the Senator from Windsor — our new Senate Democratic Caucus Communications Director, Senator White — had this to say about priorities:

Senator White most succinctly summed up what topped the list for nearly all of her colleagues. “My three are: climate change, housing affordability and childcare,” she said. At the time I added only one item to that list, gun safety. And let’s look at what we’ve accomplished in those four areas.

Childcare was at the top of our list, and we’ve honestly made history in that area this year. Along with the other body, we’ve put the childcare sector on the path to authentic transformation. And that infusion of life into a fragile childcare system will begin almost immediately. Twenty years from now, we may look back on H217 as the most important bill of the biennium.

We’ve also made history in terms of gun safety. If you look carefully at when and how we’ve been able to pass gun safety legislation in the last decade, it tends to happen slowly, one bill maybe every three years. This year we passed a carefully tailored suite of bills, three in number, designed as a comprehensive approach to gun violence of all kinds. We banned paramilitary training camps, we addressed our state’s alarming suicide statistics, and we’ve made thoughtful changes to keep guns out of the hands of those who might abuse them. In all of this, we’ve held harmless Vermonters’ rights to self-defense and traditional hunting and target shooting. Truly a watershed year in this area.

On housing, we braved the divide between economic development and environmental protection. Those tensions have killed previous bills, and stymied less determined legislators. But not this year, not with this team. As a result we were able to pass the HOME bill, which will spur development of housing where we need it most, without giving up the environmental protections that define the Vermont experience and the Vermont brand.

In response to the threat of climate change, we passed S5 and then overrode the Governor’s veto of the bill. It was a hard fought debate, but you handled it thoughtfully, with civility and respect for one another. As I noted the other day, we’ll have to have that debate all over again in the not-too-distant future. And I have no doubt that we will handle that debate with equal grace.

It’s funny, as you go through life, you wonder what will one day be written on your tombstone. And after this session, I now know what my stone will say. It’s three words that will sum up my greatest achievement: He hired Ashley. All of you know what Ashley Moore has contributed this session. She’s in the office early and leaves late. She’s connected deeply with every one of you, and she has become indispensable for all of us.

I won’t say goodbye, because we have a veto session scheduled in just a little over a month, so I will resort to the French “au revoir.”

Categories: Press Release

12 replies »

  1. Pride beforeth the fall. Ever so smug, ever so megalomaniac, ever so complicit and compromised. The days and spirit of Haman coursing through their veins.

    Ephesians 6:12 KJV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [a]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

  2. The people our founding fathers warned us of. Self-serving, haughty, arrogant, traitorous scammers who are willing to hijack any movement, no matter how ultimately detrimental to the health of the nation, in order to attain personal acquisition, power, and wealth.

  3. Until the battle to take back the minds, and souls of the young has been joined and won, these charlatans will always have replacements waiting in the wings to take their place. The battlegrounds are in the schools. Once that battle has been won, then citizens have a chance at making a long term change in the direction that politics has taken us. Until then, we only have what the education system produces to work with, and that’s got to change !

    • The easiest (or quite possibly, the only) way that battle will be won is for the majority of parents to pull their kids from public school and either homeschool them or find quality private schools focused on teaching academics, logic and sound moral principles. The schools are entirely run by the union ie; NEA, changing that is a far more uphill battle than just abandoning the system altogether. With flexibility that many employed people currently have (working remotely, different shifts) parents can form co-ops to teach small groups of kids. This is not hard, it takes commitment and persistence.

  4. The only good thing that can be said about this legislative session is that it has come to an end.

  5. The House and Senate spent the entire legislative session on H.89 and S.37 – two bills that work in tandem to increase Planned Parenthood’s bottom line by allowing them to thwart laws in other states that have parental involvement laws before a minor can access abortion and bans on late term abortions. Further, the bills “shield” those who peddle hormones to youth who are experiencing gender dysphoria but live in states that have enacted laws to protect them from such damaging procedures and drugs with life-long consequences.

    While obviously working to benefit Planned Parenthood, and spending inordinate amounts of money and time to accomplish PP’s goals, not one of the three “leaders” of our government even give the bills a mention in their self-congratulatory speeches. Hmmm……

  6. I think they should all be recalled for not listening to their constitutes ! Evil has crept into our state and the legislature. Pure evil!

  7. I think we have so many self serving people in Montpelier that do not listen to the people who voted them in they should all be voted out. I think killing babies before they are born is totally wrong and people that are for it have no faith or heart. Anyone that wants our state like California should look at how the state has been ruined by the self serving people there. Step up and vote these people out before it is too late.

  8. 4+ months for a 12 month budget that is a huge increase, completely dis-serves children (home school or privates parents is the only answer in vt now) huge raises given for what…….? the people of vt ..NO, for the going fad which will end at some point when more than not…..wake up and smell the coffee. yet there will be so much harm done at that point, who knows what will happen.
    i have said for years there is a trickle down from the on-high DC corruption right on down to the local level……and now there it is front and center to see and somehow live with. I left for good last year; thanking my lucky stars now………..Thank you Guy Page for offering this publication……with the REAL information/news. I will continue to support………

  9. Yea, they are giving themselves pats on the back for the continued destruction, oops, to use their words, “accomplishments”. I don’t know what is more galling, the raise they gave themselves or the passing of the carbon tax. Except for a handful, the rest are just disgusting tyrants, who didn’t listen to their constituents, and lie.

  10. I would like to know the names of the “big ten” and the towns they were “elected” in. Mr. Baruth, when it comes down to the constituents in your area, the ones you failed to listen to? They will be saying “Good Riddance” to you, not “au revoir”.

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