For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The following press release was sent from Governor Phil Scott's administration.
GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT APPOINTS JIM HARRISON TO RUTLAND-WINDSOR DISTRICT SEAT IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott today announced the appointment of Jim Harrison as Representative for the Rutland-Windsor District, serving Bridgewater, Chittenden, Killington, and Mendon.
Harrison, a resident of North Chittenden, was appointed to fill the seat vacated by former Rep. Job Tate (R), who – as a reservist serving with a Naval Mobile Construction Battalion – is being deployed. Keeping with traditional practice when replacing a member of the Legislature, Governor Scott selected a replacement from the same political party.
“Jim brings tremendous knowledge and experience working with the Legislature to this position, which will serve his District well as he hits the ground running this week,” said Gov. Scott. “I am confident he will be a dedicated public servant, representing the best interests of his constituents as we work to grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable and give Vermonters a break from increasing taxes and fees.”
For nearly 30 years, Harrison served as president of the Vermont Retail & Grocers Association – a statewide trade association – before retiring in 2016. He now works part-time at Green Mountain Golf Course in Killington. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and an MBA from New Hampshire College. Harrison also serves on local boards and committees, including Friends of Chittenden Public Library and Chittenden Historical Society. He is a past trustee and treasurer of the Vermont Foodbank, a former board member of the Green Mountain Credit Union, and a past president of the Vermont Society of Association Executives.
“I’m honored to have been selected to serve the residents of Bridgewater, Chittenden, Killington and Mendon, and look forward to working with my fellow lawmakers and Governor Scott to spur economic growth and opportunity,” said Harrison.
Harrison, who was sworn in Tuesday, was one of three nominees put forward by the Rutland County Republican Committee.
Governor Phil Scott One Of The Most Popular Governors
New poll shows Governor Scott has a 68% approval rating
Berlin, VT - New polling via Morning Consult shows Governor Phil Scott has broad support with a 68% approval rating and is among the most popular Governors in the country. The poll, which included more than 85,000 registered voters, shows that the 10 most popular chief executives in America are Republicans.
In response to the poll Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party, issued the following statement:
“Three months into his administration, Governor Phil Scott is already one of the most popular Governors in the country. When you stand firm against higher taxes and fees, promise to veto a crushing carbon tax, and continue to work to make Government more efficient; it’s easy to see why Governor Scott has such wide support. Vermonters will continue to benefit from an administration working to make Vermont more affordable, create jobs, and grow the economy.”
Members of Governor’s Government Modernization & Efficiency Team Detail Strategic Approach to Improve Outcomes and Lower Costs
Berlin, VT. – Recently, members of Governor Phil Scott’s Government Modernization & Efficiency Team (GMET) Sue Zeller and Neale Lunderville appeared on Vermont Public Radio to detail the Governor’s efforts to make state government more efficient and improve services.Read more
For Immediate Release
April 10, 2017
Jeff Bartley, Executive Director
Vermont Republican Party
Vermont Democrats Parade New Carbon Tax Legislation
New proposals attempt to deceive Vermonters in a non-election year
Berlin, VT - In response to new legislation proposed in the Vermont House of Representatives to create a carbon tax, Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:
“The Democrats and Progressives just won't rest until they've they've exhausted every conceivable scheme to create a new carbon tax. That's the only takeaway from reports that Democrat and Progressive lawmakers will submit different proposals this week to undermine our economy and deepen the crisis of affordability their failed policies created.
“Vermonters will not support any proposal for an economically disastrous new carbon tax. Especially a proposal like this that tries to hide a wolf in sheep's clothing by pretending to take money from one of your pockets and put it into another. Vermonters will not be fooled by this deceitful, and economically reckless, political trickery.
"The fact is a carbon tax will take millions more dollars from Vermont taxpayer’s, increase the costs of goods and services across the board, cause more businesses to shut their doors and cost us jobs. That is exactly why Governor Phil Scott has repeatedly pledged to veto a carbon tax and Vermont's Republican legislators are prepared to sustain that veto should it become necessary.
“We call on Progressive Lt. Governor David Zuckerman, Senate Pro Temp Tim Ashe, and Speaker Mitzi Johnson to publicly reject yet another carbon tax proposal and refocus on creating jobs and making Vermont more affordable.
"Democrats are clearly more focused on creating new taxes -- and clever ways to hide them -- than the very real economic hurdles facing working Vermonters and employers. Reviving their election year discussion of a carbon tax is evidence that they cannot adjourn and leave Montpelier soon enough."
Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Lt. Governor David Zuckerman lobbying for marijuana when they should be focused on working with businesses to grow the economy.
Berlin, VT - Governor Phil Scott and Republican leadership in both legislative bodies remain committed to addressing the affordability crisis and growing Vermont’s economy. The affordability crisis still remains a top issue facing Vermonters, and if continued to be left unaddressed Vermonters and businesses will continue fleeing Vermont.
Sadly, Democrats and Progressives remain unfocused and easily distracted by pet-projects tailored to their special interest friends.
In response to the Vermont House of Representatives taking up H.170 today, Tim Schaffer, Communications Director for the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:
“Last Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.170 during an unscheduled vote -- a move that was clearly calculated. The full House will take a vote on the bill today.
“Speaker Mitzi Johnson vowed not bring this piece of legislation to the floor unless she had the votes for passage. As of a couple weeks ago, the bill was all but dead. Suddenly, the Speaker has found the votes and prioritized the bill for a House floor vote today. It is anticipated to be a tight vote.
“This is another example of an out-of-touch majority more focused on passing long-standing pet projects than relieving Vermonters of the burdens they face. In many cases, they add to the burdens like the proposed $80,000,000 in new payroll taxes on working Vermonters and $7.2 million in taxes from a $2.00 a night hotel occupancy charge.
“Additionally, this has been a project for Lt. Governor David Zuckerman for as long as he has been an elected-official in Montpelier. Over the weekend he attempted to stir up support from his base with blast e-mails and social media posts. Shouldn’t he be drumming up support for lower taxes and a Vermont economy that works better for all?
“As this legislation is forced through the House of Representatives at lightening speed, we have couple questions that must be answered by Speaker Mitzi Johnson:
Movement on H.170 has been sudden. What efforts did the Speaker embark on to ensure passage of H.170 if it reached the floor.
Is the Speaker spending more time trying to pass marijuana legislation or is she truly committed to relieving Vermonters from the crushing affordability crisis, lower their taxes, decrease business regulation, and growing the economy?
Is the Speaker more concerned with passing legislation like H.170 than focusing on passing a balanced budget that does not increase taxes or fees?
We can all agree driving under the influence of anything puts Vermonters at risk. Considering that a field-sobriety-like test for those under the influence of marijuana doesn’t exist, how does the Speaker intend to keep Vermonters safe on the road?
Does the Speaker disagree with the Governor who wishes to see a field-sobriety test in place before considering the bill?
What 3rd Party and/or lobbying organizations have been in contact with the Speaker's office, her staff, or other Democratic leaders?
What other pet-projects that have failed to gain support in the House or Senate over the last six years will be taken up this legislative session?
“Vermont Republicans remain committed and are steadfast in our efforts to grow Vermont’s economy and relieve the crushing cost-of-living Vermonters face. These questions need to be answered by Speaker Johnson so that all Vermonters are given a clear and transparent view of how Montpelier truly operates.”
Attorney General TJ Donovan Comes to Defense of Own Party and Swipes Blatant Campaign Finance Violation Under Rug
Questions loom as to whether he is serious about enforcing election laws.
Berlin, VT - In response to Attorney General TJ Donovan ignoring campaign finance laws and disregarding his responsibilities to enforce them, Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:
“We are not surprised Attorney General TJ Donovan is coming to the aide of his fellow Democrats by not enforcing current campaign finance laws. His ruling narrowly interprets the statute prohibiting sitting legislators from soliciting contributions from lobbyists to only direct solicitations - meaning solicitations for the legislators themselves.
“The Attorney General has now made clear that legislators may solicit lobbyists on behalf of third parties or at the very least allow third parties to use their names to solicit lobbyists. The Democrats seem to be circumventing the clear language and meaning of the statute and the Attorney General seems perfectly content to look the other way.
“Our complaint clearly articulated that Rep. Jill Krowinski signed a letter and fundraising plea distributed by the Vermont Democratic Party on her behalf. The e-mail landed in the inboxes of many lobbyists -- and was distributed knowing their email list contained Vermont and Federal lobbyists.”
“If signing a letter ‘Jill Krowinski, Majority Leader, House Democratic Caucus’ on behalf of the Democratic Party does not violate the statutory prohibition against legislators soliciting lobbyists, then why have the law in the first place.”
“This lack of action calls into question whether the Attorney General is serious about developing and enforcing campaign finance laws. We strongly urge the Attorney General to re-examine this decision and the dangerous precedent it will set if it stands.”
A copy of our complaint can be downloaded by clicking here.
A copy of Rep. Jill Krowinski's e-mail can be downloaded by clicking here.
A copy of the Attorney General's response can be downloaded by clicking here.
The Progressive Leadership in the Senate, David Zuckerman and Tim Ashe, leading us down the wrong path.
Berlin, VT - In true fashion and matching the previous six years where Democrats and Progressives raised over $300-million in new taxes and fees, the Vermont Democrat controlled State Senate Finance Committee voted along party lines to support the creation of a $7.2-million occupancy tax on hotel rooms. The move, which happened late Thursday evening, will have a disastrous impact on Vermont’s tourism industry.Read more
Paid Family Leave Legislation Passes House Committee -- Will Add $80-Million in New Taxes on Vermont’s Workforce
Berlin, VT - Today, the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs passed H.196, a bill imposing a substantial payroll tax on Vermonters and forces businesses to provide mandatory paid family leave.
In response, Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party, issued the following statement:
“This piece of legislation will add $80-million in new taxes to Vermont workers -- $5-million on state employees alone -- and is a step in completely the wrong direction. Vermonters are begging for tax relief.
“It’s like the Vermont Democrats and Progressives have completely tuned out Vermonters, businesses and those struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Lt. Governor David Zuckerman are personally shepherding legislation through committees that continue to lay dangerous burdens on businesses and job creators.
“As of November 2016 Forbes Magazine ranked Vermont the 2nd highest cost state in the nation in which to do business. With each bill and each statement by Lt. Governor Zuckerman and Speaker Johnson, Vermont inches closer and closer to becoming the most expensive state in the country in which to do business.
“This will add $7.5 million in costs in FY 2017, $17 million the year after, and an additional $20 million in lost productivity for the state of Vermont.
“As Governor Phil Scott highlighted in his statement earlier today, less than 10% of legislation proposed this session is economy-related. If we are going to tackle the affordability crisis and inspire students to stay in Vermont post graduation, we need to work with the private-sector to create jobs.
“We are very thankful for the Vermont Republican House members on this committee who gave a voice to Vermonters who are suffering under the Vermont Democrat created affordability crisis in our state. They unanimously stood against this tax hike on working Vermonters. Thank you to:
Rep. Job Tate - Mendon
Rep. Heidi Scheuerman - Stowe
Rep. Brian Smith - Derby
Rep. Vicki Strong - Albany
“We continue to call on Lt. Governor Dave Zuckerman, Rep. Mitzi Johnson and the rest of the Vermont Democrats to be forthcoming about the additional taxes they plan to raise and how they expect hard-working Vermonters -- and the businesses they operate or work in -- to survive in an environment of ever decreasing affordability.”
Vermont Republicans call on the Lt. Governor to share what taxes he wants to raise.
Berlin, VT - Yesterday, Lt. Governor David Zuckerman whiffed in his attempt to call out Governor Phil Scott for a lack of leadership as it relates to the the State Budget. This piggy-backs off recent public statements where Zuckerman and and House Democrats attempted to take aim at job creators, businesses, and the pockets of hard-working Vermonters.
Dave Sunderland, Chair of the Vermont Republican Party issued the following statement:
“Governor Phil Scott is the only one who has proposed solutions that will make Vermont a more affordable place to live, work and raise a family.
“There has been a lot of noise coming from the Lt. Governor’s office lately. The Vermont Democrat’s David Zuckerman and his staff have been distracted by Washington D.C. issues, an 88-cent/gallon carbon tax and instant runoff voting. Lt. Governor Zuckerman’s apparent misunderstanding what really matters to everyday Vermonters shows how far out of the mainstream he and the rest of the Vermont Democrats really are.
In fact, it seems they are paying more attention to their supporters in ultra far left special interest groups than they are to hardworking Vermonters who struggle every day under the burden of Vermont’s growing -- and Vermont Democrat fueled -- affordability crisis.
We suggest the Lt. Governor research the budget process before taking ill-conceived pot shots at Governor Phil Scott. Additionally we demand David Zuckerman, who is so favorable to additional tax increases, immediately share what taxes and fees on Vermonters he would increase -- and by how much.
Vermonters have not forgotten the failed policies of Governor Peter Shumlin and the lopsided Democrat majority in the legislature. When they overwhelmingly elected Phil Scott as Governor in November, Vermonters expected to see a laser focus on affordability, growing the economy, creating jobs and reducing our overwhelming tax burden -- created single handedly by Vermont Democrats. Governor Phil Scott and Vermont Republicans are following through.
The out-of-the mainstream, far-left liberal majority are purposefully getting in the way of real progress and are distracted by “sound bite” issues. Two years from now, Vermonters will have another opportunity to choose change and Democrat/Progressive Lt. Governor Zuckerman is making it easier and easier for them to do so.”
For Immediate Release
March 6, 2017
Contact: Jeff Bartley
Vermont Republicans Launch Statewide Campaign Highlighting Cronyism On H.R. 8
Party leaders call on all Republicans to share this flyer at their town meeting and with local officials.
Berlin, VT -- Today, the Vermont Republican Party published 77 flyers online, one for each Vermont House member who voted for or supported House Resolution 8; an effort to undermine our electoral process and remove a duly elected Republican Representative.
“What Mitzi Johnson, Jill Krowinski, and their band of far-left Progressive Party members did on H.R. 8 was not only cronyism, it takes direct aim against our electoral process. They will be held accountable not only by Vermont Republicans, but by their constituents as well.” said Jeff Bartley, Executive Director of the Vermont Republican Party.
He continued: “We are asking all Republicans across the state to print out the flyer of their respective legislator and to bring it to their town meeting with them. Additionally, the Party will be sending a copy of the flyer to local Selectboard, School Board, and Board of Civil Authority members.”
“This should put all 77 House members on notice. We are paying attention. Vermonters are paying attention. Thus far, this has been one of the weakest and most unresponsive starts to a biennium in recent memory. It’s time Montpelier shifts focus to the crisis of affordability and work to alleviate the tax burden on Vermonters,” concluded Jeff Bartley.
A copy of all the flyers can be viewed and downloaded here. Vermonters are encouraged to print the flyers out and distribute them at their town meeting and/or polling locations. Additionally, we ask Vermonters to share the flyers online via their social networks.