Peter Shumlin in 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Budget & Economy: Get back to fiscal responsibility, post-stimulus

What we face in this budget year is the reality that the stimulus funds allocated by the federal government to cushion the blow of the worst recession in American history are now gone. We all knew that this day would come. It is now our responsibility to make difficult choices, and to find a balance between compassion for our most vulnerable citizens and the imperative to put our state on solid fiscal footing. In addition to reducing spending, my budget maximizes federal dollars available to our state.
Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

On Crime: Help keep non-violent offenders out of jail.

A decade ago we spent $71 million on our corrections system. Today, we spend almost $131 million. On any given day, of the 2,100 prisoners that taxpayers are currently supporting, 180 are in prison because they have no other place to go. 69% of our femal inmates and 45% of our male inmates are non-violent offenders. What do we know about these non-violent offenders? Many of them have difficulty reading and writing, and most have drug and alcohol related addictions. When their time is up, a lack of adult basic education, drug and alcohol counseling, mental health services and job options leave them on our Main Streets with the same lack of skills and substance abuse challenges that led them into prison in the first place. As a result, half of our non-violent offenders end up back in prison within three years.

I ask the Legislature to join me in investing $1 million in prevention and alternative justice in community based programs across Vermont to help keep non-violent offenders out of jail.

Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

On Drugs: War on recidivism: $300,000 for methadone treatment

Many non-violent offenders have drug & alcohol related addictions. When their time is up, lack of adequate housing, adult basic education, drug & alcohol counseling, mental health services & job options leave them with the same lack of skills & substance abuse challenges that led them into prison in the first place.

My Administration will re-allocate an additional $300,000 to unlock the waiting lists for methadone treatment. This represents the first steps in my administration's war on recidivism.

Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

On Environment: Clean up Lake Champlain: federal waivers & local flexibility

A clean Lake Champlain is critical to our quality of life and our attractiveness to tourists, anglers, boaters and birders who share our love of our lake. Although we protect our great lake with Quebec and New York, much of the water runs through our state, and its cleanliness is as crucial to our economic vitality as it is to our culture and our health. Lake Champlain provides drinking water for more than 200,000 people, while the state's reputation for environmental quality and lake stewardship reflects upon all of us. We must make faster progress in cleaning up the lake. I will work together with our Congressional delegation and President Obama to seek waivers that will enable us to place federal dollars in a central pool that would give our communities and farmers the flexibility to maximize our efforts and get results. The time for talk is over; we must clean up Lake Champlain.
Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

On Tax Reform: Raise state budget reserve from 5% to 8%, for tough times

It should be abundantly clear that the current reserve of 5% of our state budget is not adequate to withstand tough times. I call upon the legislature to join me in raising our reserves to 8% as soon as we return to better times. Critics might also ask: why are we not raising taxes? Our top income tax rate is not 5%; it is nearly 9%. Our tax rates must remain competitive with other New England states to grow jobs.
Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

On Technology: Connect VT: $53M for rural broadband & cell service

Two weeks ago, I launched Connect VT, an ambitious plan to deliver broadband and cell service to every corner of Vermont. To get this essential project done, in addition to using federal funds and private investments, I propose spending $13 million from our two-year capital budget and fully utilizing the $40 million revenue bond capacity of the Vermont Telecommunications Authority. These investments will expedite the build out of fiber optics lines and wireless networks across our state, to every last mile by 2013, including the most rural areas that for economic reasons are least likely to attract private providers.

We will need to address three regulatory areas that have the potential to derail our progress. These are utility pole regulations for fiber and telecommunication attachments, consolidated land use and environmental permits for the placement of poles, and long-term telecommunication lease agreements to erect infrastructure on state land and buildings.

Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

On Technology: $106M to improve 65 bridges; plus high speed rail

My budget addresses the deteriorating condition of our roads, highways and bridges. We need to bring our transportation network into the 21st century, and to support this effort I am proposing to spend $106 million on improvements to more than 65 bridges and culverts, and preventive maintenance work on dozens of other structures.

Expanding passenger and freight rail in Vermont is also a top priority. My budget invests in rail upgrades to the western corridor, with the goal of returning passenger servic to Montreal as soon as possible. These investments bode well for Vermont's rail future.

As some states reject federal money for high-speed rail, I am also committed to working in partnership with my colleagues in New England and the Premier of Quebec with a vision of a high-speed rail line from New York to Montreal, with a spur to Boston. High speed rail is the transportation of our global future, and it is high time that Vermont gets on board.

Source: 2011 Vermont State of the State Address Jan 25, 2011

The above quotations are from 2011 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 20, 2014