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Gov. Scott reports on NGA winter meeting and provides update on last week’s school swatting

Vermont Statehouse and Governor Phil Scott
photos by Pat Bradley
Vermont Statehouse and Governor Phil Scott

Vermont Governor Phil Scott attended the National Governors Association winter meeting in Washington D.C last week. That was the focus of his weekly briefing this afternoon.

The Republican traveled to the nation’s capital to attend the meeting with other governors and Biden Administration officials.

“The NGA always offers an opportunity for governors of both parties to come together and discuss shared priorities. Members of Congress might want to take a look at how governors are able to put that partisanship aside and focus on areas we agree, because I believe there’s more common ground than some would think. We had a good meeting at the White House with the President, Vice President and members of the Cabinet where we discussed infrastructure, the implementation of IIJA and the IRA.”

The IIJA is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the IRA is the Inflation Reduction Act.

Scott said governors emphasized the need to streamline the federal permitting process. He also attended a meeting of the President’s Council of Governors to discuss national security.

“I also raised the need for us to focus on shoring up domestic supply chains. During the pandemic it became very, very clear to me that we as a country are far too dependent on foreign nations for supplies and it’s important for national security that we make sure we’re capable of producing critical supplies right here at home.”

Scott has been appointed to co-chair a Public Health and Disaster Response Task Force with Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.

“We cohosted a panel with federal regulators and cybersecurity experts about protecting our grid from foreign threats as well as making sure the grid is prepared to handle a carbon free world as we further our reliance on electricity. It's imperative we’re prepared to respond to any large-scale disruptions because dependence on electricity will only grow.”

Scott said he met with other regional governors to discuss power sources and the price of energy in the Northeast.

“We had a lengthy discussion about TDI, the fully permitted 1,000-megawatt transmission line that would come through Vermont and then connect southern New England to clean energy from Quebec. As you might remember, we heavily promoted this in my first term and would have used the revenue for Lake Champlain cleanup. But unfortunately, Massachusetts decided to go in a different direction so the line was never built. But now with significant problems with other routes considered in New Hampshire and Maine, the New England governors are very interested in the opportunity TDI provides to us and it now has legs again.”

There is not a lot of updated information regarding last week’s swatting incident that targeted 21 schools across the state. Public Safety Commissioner Jennifer Morrison said the calls appear to have originated outside U.S. borders.

“We are continuing to coordinate all the available information from the 21 communities in Vermont and have one central repository for that information. And there is every indication that this is an international origin. So it would likely be investigated primarily at the federal level.”

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