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VT Gov. Scott reviews legislative session and decision to seek fourth term during weekly briefing

Vermont Governor Phil Scott (file)
Pat Bradley
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (file)

Vermont Governor Phil Scott focused his weekly briefing Tuesday on the accomplishments of the recently concluded legislative session. But he could not avoid questions about his announcement earlier today that he will run for a fourth two-year term.

Scott opened his briefing with a brief acknowledgement of the mass shooting in Buffalo over the weekend, calling it an “horrific act of domestic terrorism.”

“This is a stark reminder that the embers of hate and white supremacy are still flaring up and that it’s on all of us to extinguish those embers when we see them and find ways to stop these horrible acts from happening in the first place," Scott said. "And also know that many Vermonters of color could use our support and extra kindness right now.”

Scott then turned to a review of the just adjourned legislative session and efforts to invest federal ARPA funds and a state surplus.

“In the end by working together we really did accomplish a lot," the governor said. "For example in this year’s budget the legislature funded the second half of the $250 million broadband request which will provide the vast majority of Vermonters with internet access. And this year they funded my $80 million request for weatherization, $10 million for EV infrastructure and much, much more. And even though there were some debates about issues attached to the housing bills we worked out many of our differences.”

Among the topics Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine discussed was the infant formula shortage, noting that some small stores and pharmacies may have adequate supplies.

“I do want to share some important cautions," Levine said. "First: families should not substitute goat’s milk, cow’s milk or plant-based milk for infant formula. Second: do not water down the formula you do have. Third: as a general rule don’t make homemade formula. And last: pay close attention to the online retailers of infant formula to ensure they are legitimate and safe sources.”

As soon as the question and answer session opened three-term Republican Governor Scott was quizzed about his announcement earlier in the day that he will seek another term.

“We’ve made some historic investments," Scott said. "We have to follow through on them and we need a seasoned team in order to do that. It isn’t just me. It’s many of the commissioners and secretaries that are part of our team. As well I’m worried about inflation and a possible recession as a result of the inflation and again I think we need a seasoned team to get us through that and to help us through that. So I decided to move forward with another two years and look forward to the opportunity to do that if voters will have me.”

Scott says he will not campaign until after Labor Day.

Democrat and activist Brenda Siegel is the only other candidate who has announced a campaign for governor.

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