Phil Scott is the 82nd Governor of Vermont. Before that, he was a State Senator and then a Lieutenant Governor, meaning that he has had a long career in his state's politics. As such, curious individuals should have no problems finding out more information about Scott and his situation in Vermont.
1. Born in Barre, VT
Scott was born in Barre, VT. To be exact, this would be Barre City rather than Barre Town, which is important to mention because it is very easy to confuse one for the other when Barre City is surrounded by Barre Town. One of Barre's most notable characteristics is the granite deposits found at Millstone Hill that continues to provide stone prized for its grain, its texture, and its outstanding weather resistance.
2. Went to University of Vermont
Education-wise, Scott went to the University of Vermont. Founded in 1791, said school is one of the oldest institutions of its kind in the whole of the United States. Furthermore, the University of Vermont was one of the eight schools included in the very first list of the Public Ivies, which says much about the regard in which it was held and continues to be held. As for Scott's subject of study, it was Industrial Education.
3. Worked at DuBois Construction
In time, Scott went to work at DuBois Construction, which had been founded by his uncle. By 1986, he was a co-owner of the company. However, this is not the case in the present time because Scott sold his ownership stake in DuBois Construction when he was elected Governor of Vermont, which was necessary for preventing conflicts of interest because the company had business dealings with the state. In any case, Scott managed to get $2.5 million plus 3 percent interest payable over 15 years for his 50 percent ownership stake.
4. Moderate Republican
One could make the argument that Scott is a member of a vanishing breed. After all, he is a moderate Republican in the sense that he combines fiscal conservatism with social liberalism. Something that has become rarer and rarer on the federal level in the United States but is still clinging on in certain parts of New England.
5. Wants to Increase His State's Population
A critical component of Scott's plan to improve his state's economy is increasing its population to 700,000, which makes sense because most people means more consumers. For the most part, he has focused his efforts in this regard on younger individuals rather than older individuals. There are some who have pointed out that older individuals tend to have higher incomes. However, Scott has countered by pointing out that younger individuals tend to have lower healthcare costs. Having said that, increasing the population is just one part of Scott's economic plans.
6. Has Voiced Support for Private Prisons
Private prisons have become more and more contentious in recent times. There are a number of reasons for this. For example, the for-profit nature of private prisons creates perverse incentives to increase the number of prisoners. Likewise, the for-profit nature of private prisons means that they tend to be worse at offering education as well as other programs meant to reduce recidivism. Relatively recently, Scott voiced support for the continuing use of out-of-state private prisons on the basis that they are cheaper. He does support reducing the number of people in prisons, but in the end, the people in prison are lower on his list of spending priorities than a lot of other segments of the population.
7. Not a Fan of Taxes
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scott is not a fan of taxes. This can be seen in how he has opposed raising taxes as well as how he has lowered income taxes in his state. Having said that, Scott's refusal to raise revenues by raising taxes is paired with a reluctance to spend more money, meaning that he isn't one of those politicians who talk about fiscal conservatism while showing no qualms whatsoever about setting bigger and bigger budgets. Instead, he has been very concerned about Vermont's unfunded liabilities in the long run, with an excellent example being his efforts to pay down his state's pension debt.
8. Interested in Reforming Vermont Government
It is interesting to note that Scott has shown that he wants to reform some of the ways that Vermont is governed. For instance, he supports the idea of limiting the Vermont legislature's annual session to 90 days. Partly, this is meant to increase focus on key issues via time pressure, and partly, this is meant to encourage a wider range of people to run for office by providing them with an exact idea of the demand that will be placed upon their time. Besides this, Scott has also shown an interest in everything from auditing processes for potential points of improvement to combining separate segments to eliminate needless redundancies.
9. Social Liberal
On social issues, Scott is a liberal. This can be seen in how he is pro-choice as well as pro-LGBT issues. On top of that, he has been a consistent opponent of the Trump administration on immigration issues.
10. Wants Students to Return to the Classroom in the Fall
In regards to the COVID-19 crisis, it seems that Scott wants K-12 students to return to the classroom in the fall, which is meant to restore things to a state of normalcy as soon as possible. Having said that, the current plan acknowledges the fact that flare-ups are likely to show up in the future, as shown by the planning for targeted closures in case of new outbreaks. As for why there is such a rush, Vermont is very far from the only place that has reported serious disruptions to the learning experience thanks to a very sudden though nonetheless necessary switch-over to remote learning.
Written by Allen Lee
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