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RELEASE: Phil Scott Dissembles On Deficits, Substance Use Disorder, And Climate Change

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

September 29, 2022 Contact: Emily Bowers Vermont Democratic Party Communications Director Email: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


Montpelier, VT – Following Republican Governor Phil Scott’s dismal debate performance at the VTDigger Gubernatorial debate last night, the Vermont Democratic Party sought to correct falsehoods perpetuated by the Governor. Below are corrections to three of Phil Scott’s most ridiculous and blatantly false assertions during the debate.

FACT CHECK: Governor Scott falsely claimed that his objections to the Clean Heat Standard were because the bill abdicated legislative authority to the PUC. “It was the legislature punting to the PUC that I opposed because it would never come back for legislative approval, or my approval.” (38:11) THE REALITY: H.715 as passed by the House and Senate and vetoed by the Governor clearly states at the bottom of page 21 of the bill, subsection 8129 that, “Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the Commission shall not file proposed rules with the Secretary of State or issue any orders implementing the Clean Heat Standard without specific authorization enacted by the General Assembly.” And later on page 25 it says, “On or before January 15, 2024, the Commission shall submit to the General Assembly final proposed rules to implement the Clean Heat Standard. The Commission shall not file the final proposed rules with the Secretary of State until specific authorization is enacted by the General Assembly to do so.” So either Governor Scott couldn’t be bothered to read the bill before vetoing it, or he’s lying about what it contains for political benefit.

FACT CHECK: Governor Scott invented an era of Vermont fiscal irresponsibility out of whole cloth, claiming that prior to his tenure as Governor, “...for almost a decade, we had deficits every single year.” (18:40)

THE REALITY: Contrary to Governor Scott’s opinion of his own skills, he is not some miraculous fiscal savior. While projected budgets will often require mid-year adjustments to close gaps that open up during the fiscal year, Vermont does not run deficits, and does not pass unbalanced budgets.

FACT CHECK: When defending his administration’s dismal record on overdose deaths, Governor Scott defended a veto of H.728, a bill that would have implemented a number of harm reduction measures as well as studying the idea of overdose prevention sites, saying ’“It wasn’t really a study, if you read the bill, it was an implementation plan.” (20:31) THE REALITY: When is a feasibility study not a study? When it’s politically expedient for Phil Scott to call it something else. H.728 would have created an “overdose prevention site working group” charged with “identify[ing] the feasibility and liability of implementing overdose prevention sites in Vermont.” If the committee found that they were not feasible, they would not exist. But that wouldn’t allow Phil Scott to score points on the backs of people suffering from addiction, so he neglected to mention that.

These are just the most egregious examples of the governor’s attempts to justify his poor performance over the past three terms, which have left many thousands of Vermonters worse off than before he took office.


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