LG Brian Dubie (R) “offered good and bad news about the state’s status and future” 5/25 at the VT Tiger Symposium. Dubie’s “been criticized” by Sec/State Deb Markowitz (D) “for focusing too much on the state’s shortcomings. He defended his assessment, saying ‘part of my job … is to be as truthful as possible.’”
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Dubie said VT “is a healthy and safe place, and ‘when I travel across the state and talk to Vermont employers, I universally hear accolades for the Vermont worker.’” He added that VT “ranks 47th for business friendliness and has a reputation as a state with a high tax burden.”
Dubie: “Please don’t shoot the messenger. We need to figure how to do something in less than 10 years.”
Dubie “never overtly mentioned his candidacy during his speech, but asked the crowd for ideas because he said he’s building an agenda” that “will include continued efforts to restore a capital gain exemption” and “greater use” of “‘general permits.’”
Dubie: “Oh by the way, we are going to have to transform state government. We don’t have the resources to maintain the status quo.”
More Dubie: “I think people are waking up. I think people know what it at stake in this election” (Remsen, Burlington Free Press, 5/26).
Don’t Even Look At It
Dubie mgr Corry Bliss “said the campaign had postponed a scheduled fundraising breakfast to avoid questions about adherence” to the law that does not allow lawmakers to fundraise from lobbyists “during legislative sessions.” The legislature “wrapped up its main business” 5/12, “but decided to set” 6/9 “as the date members could return to Montpelier to respond” if Gov. Jim Douglas (R) “vetoed any bills, something he hasn’t done this year but still could.”
Bliss: “We want to uphold both the spirit and the letter of the law. … We could not be happier with how our fundraising is going. I don’t think it has any impact on the campaign.”
State Sen. Susan Bartlett (D) mgr John Bauer: “The Legislature is still in session, so we cannot legally solicit from lobbyists and the people who employ lobbyists. Those are the rules of the game. We have no interest in dancing around the edges; we want to stick with what the rules are” (Gram, AP, 5/26).
Dubie, Bartlett, Markowitz, ex-state Sen. Matt Dunne (D), state Senate Pres. Peter Shumlin (D), state Sen. Doug Racine (D) and Radio Free Vermont CEO Dennis Steele (I) “are expected to participate” in a debate about business in in South Burlington 5/27 (AP, 5/27).
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The House has completed it's business for 2016 by passing a spending bill which will keep the government funded through April 28. The final vote tally was 326-96. The bill's standing in the Senate is a bit tenuous at the moment, as a trio of Democratic Senators have pledged to block the bill unless coal miners get a permanent extension on retirement and health benefits. The government runs out of money on Friday night.
The Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act today, sending the $618 billion measure to President Obama. The president vetoed the defense authorization bill a year ago, but both houses could override his disapproval this time around.
"President-elect Donald Trump railed against the Trans-Pacific Partnership on his way to winning the White House and has vowed immediately to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation accord. Several of his cabinet picks and other early nominees to top posts, however, have endorsed or spoken favorably about the trade pact, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, announced Wednesday as Mr. Trump’s pick for ambassador to China, and retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, Mr. Trump’s pick to head the Department of Defense."