Reflecting On His First Year, Scott Senses Optimism In Vermont's Business Community

Dec 29, 2017

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott was sworn in nearly a year ago. Scott, a Republican, was elected after Democrat Peter Shumlin's six-year tenure.

In his first year in office, Scott says he's had three priorities: growing the economy, making Vermont more affordable and "protecting the most vulnerable."

Scott says this year's budget, with no new taxes or fees, has led to a "sense of calmness" in the business community.

"As I travel around the state, there is a sense, I think, of optimism throughout the business community, where I'm seeing businesses that are now looking to expand," Scott says.

Scott's first year has also been the first year for fellow Republican President Donald Trump. Scott has opposed Trump on several issues and criticized some of his policies and statements, but he says he's still comfortable being in the Republican Party.

"I've been a Republican longer than President Trump has," Scott says. "I just call them as I see them with President Trump. There are going to be times when he will have proposals and initiatives that I will agree with, and there are many times when he's going to have proposals or say things that I'm going to oppose, and I'm just going to be independent like I've been throughout my political life.

Scott's two-year term ends in 2018, and while he hasn't yet officially announced a run for re-election, he says "it would be difficult to envision not running again."

VPR's Henry Epp spoke with Gov. Phil Scott. Listen to the interview above.