Since Sunday and until Thursday, Phil Scott will be acting Vermont governor. Performing official duties as acting governor is one of only three statutory duties the part-time Lt. Governor position has. Vermont is a stable democracy so the acting governor can’t abolish the legislature or lock the governor out of the statehouse — no worries there.
Governor Shumlin will be away attending an international governors’ conference in Boston, a climate summit in Mexico and a drug prevention conference in Nevada.
Over five years Lt. Governor Scott (Vermont’s “spare” governor) has been acting governor plenty of times before his upcoming stint. Scott tells WCAX News that after his latest stint as acting governor, he has now filled in for Gov. Peter Shumlin for 368 days, a little more than one year of Shumlin’s five-plus years in office. [WCAX isn’t called WGOP for nothing]
Speaking of work — Scott didn’t supply details for WCAX on how many days over five years, as part-time Lt. Governor, he’s spent working on the other two statutory duties: presiding over the state senate and casting tie breaking votes. How many hours a year does he put in toward earning his $61,776.00 a year part-time salary?
But back to this week: since he is running to be governor, the work Mr. Acting Governor Scott has chosen to do is to campaign for himself. He’s scheduled several call-in news radio programs and a public reception for the next few days. Clearly he’s working for Phil; it’d be a real stretch to consider his working in his own self-interest as benefiting the rest of Vermont.