Tag Archives: Vermont Conservation Voters

The budget is bigger than one political sparring point

No sooner have we cautiously congratulated Gov.Phil Scott for stepping up to the plate on Climate Change, than we have to call him out on the budget veto.

As Lauren Hierl of Vermont Conservation Voters points out that the budget is not all about teachers’ health insurance:

“The Vermont budget funds numerous programs that support safe drinking water, clean air, healthy communities, a thriving outdoor tourism economy, and so much more. We can’t afford to play political games with funding for these vital programs, and that’s why we’re calling on Governor Scott to sign the budget,” said Lauren Hierl, political director for Vermont Conservation Voters.

With environmental protection so jeopardized under the Trump administration, any delay by the state in continued support for its many responsible initiatives threatens our future.

Despite all the squabbling over teachers’ healthcare, the Legislature has met its obligation to put forth a budget for the entire basket of statewide operating costs. It is now up to the Governor to set politics aside and sign it.

As John Walters notes in Seven Days, even though Governor Scott went ahead and vetoed both the budget bill and the property tax bill in a single sweep, the state Constitution requires that each bill be addressed separately.

The upshot is that Governor Scott has a chance to reconsider the political heavy-handedness of his veto; so we ask him to reconsider the greater good of the state as a whole and sign the budget.

Endorsement Season!

Like so many others, I have been spellbound for too long by the train wreck on the national campaign stage.  ‘Time for a cup-half-full moment, as we note some of the great endorsements netted by a few deserving folks.

Since it could be argued that this is the year of Bernie Sanders, perhaps the best endorsements of the 2016 campaign season flow from his celebrated hands.  Of course, Bernie reserves his stamp of approval in state races for the few, the proud:  the Progressives!

He has bestowed this blessing on Dave Zuckerman for Lieutenant Governor; auditor Doug Hoffer for reelection; Senate candidates Anthony Pollina (Washington) and Chris Pearson (Chittenden); and House candidates: Jill Charbonneau (Chittenden 1); Mari Cordes (Addison 4); Celene Colburn (Chittenden 6-4); Diana Gonzalez (Chittenden 6-7); Susan Davis (Orange1); Robin Chestnut-Tangerman (Rutland-Bennington); Mollie Burke (Brattleboro); Sandy Haas (Rochester); and my good friend Cindy Weed, who is once again standing for the House in Franklin 7.

If I missed anyone, please chime in in the comments. I put this list together a little hastily as I wanted to be sure to get it up on GMD in a somewhat more timely manner than has lately been my habit.

Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) has released their full roster of statewide endorsements, just in time for early voting which began today, and a couple of Bernie’s picks are in that lineup, as well.

Making the VCV “Team” are Sue Minter for Governor, Dave Zuckerman for Lieutenant Governor, Jim Condos for Auditor Secretary of State, T.J. Donovan for Attorney General, and Doug Hoffer for Auditor.

Anyone familiar with the sustainability mission of Vermont Conservation Voters will not be the least bit surprised by their picks.

“Vermont Conservation Voters is pleased to endorse a slate of statewide candidates with strong environmental values, all of whom are committed to ensuring the state continues working toward healthy drinking water for all Vermonters, clean lakes and rivers, climate action, sustainable communities, and other environmental priorities,” said Lauren Hierl, Political Director for Vermont Conservation Voters.

It may surprise some that the VCV has declined to endorse for Treasure, but also consistent with their mission is the obligation to occasionally withhold the ‘carrot’ as well as the ‘stick:”

“VCV is not endorsing a candidate in the Treasurer’s race this year. While VCV appreciates Treasurer Beth Pearce’s work on issues such as water quality funding and energy efficiency investments, the organization is hoping to see more leadership from the Treasurer’s office on divesting the state’s pension investment portfolio from fossil fuels”.

Congratulations to all the above, and good luck in the coming fray.

An Environmental Double-Header in Montpelier

This ought to be good!

On Wednesday evening in Montpelier, Vermont Conservation Voters and the Vermont Natural Resources Council will present the first comprehensive debates for BOTH parties on environmental issues.

As much of the nation broils in record-breaking heat or grapples with water shortages, the environment is finally recognized by both parties (at least in Vermont) as a topic of public concern.

Congratulations to VCV and VNRC for pulling this thing together. it must have been like herding cats.

Enough said; here are the details:

Montpelier, VT – Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) and the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) will co-host a gubernatorial candidate debate on key environmental issues facing the state this Wednesday (6/22) evening in Montpelier. The candidates will be asked to share their environmental priorities and plans for addressing significant issues facing Vermont — including clean energy and climate change, cleaning up Lake Champlain and other waterways, toxic chemical contamination, healthy forests and wildlife, and sustainable communities. With environmental issues of interest to so many Vermonters, and with candidates who will likely provide very different visions for how to tackle these issues, this event should prove interesting and informative for Vermonters heading into the August 9th Primary Election.

What:          Gubernatorial Candidate Debate on Environmental Issues

Who:           Candidates Phil Scott, Bruce Lisman, Sue Minter, Matt Dunne, and Peter Galbraith; Hosted by VCV & VNRC; Moderated by VTDigger’s Anne Galloway.

When:         Wednesday, June 22, 5:30-8:30 p.m.;


Welcome Reception 5:30-6:30pm; Republican Candidates Debate 6:30-7:30pm; Democratic Candidates Debate 7:30-8:30pm

Where:        The Chapel in College Hall at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, 36 College Street, Montpelier