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YCQM - Lt. Gov. Phil Scott - Dec. 23, 2012 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Lt. Gov. Phil Scott - Dec. 23, 2012

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

You Can Quote Me -- December 23, 2012 -- Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, joins Kristin Carlson to discuss his priorities for the 2013 Vt. Legislature.

TRANSCRIPT:

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE I'M KRISTIN CARLSON AND OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING IS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOT. HE'S ACTUALLY ACTING GOVERNOR RIGHT NOW SINCE THE GOVERNOR IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY. MR. SCOT, THANKS FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE BIG NEWS OF THE WEEK. WHAT A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT IS NOW SENATOR LEAHY IS THE NUMBER ONE MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. HE ALSO DECIDED TO STAY CHAIRING THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, NOT THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE IMPACT OF THAT COULD BE ON VERMONT SINCE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A LOT OF FEMA FUNDING PROBLEMS RIGHT NOW?

>> CERTAINLY SENATOR LEAHY IS STILL A VERY POWERFUL FIGURE IN DC, AND WITH HIM BEING NAMED PRO-TEM AND HAVING HIS LEADERSHIP POSITION ON THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AND ALSO STILL BEING ON APPROPRIATIONS, I THINK THAT VERMONT SHOULD BE IN GOOD SHAPE IN TERMS OF INITIATIVES FOR THE STATE OF VERMONT. IN TERMS OF IRENE, WE'RE IN HOPES THAT HIS LANGUAGE WILL HOLD ON THE BILL THAT'S BEING DEVELOPED IN THE SENATE, ALTHOUGH THE LIKELIHOOD OF THAT PASSING THIS YEAR IS NOT TOO, NOT TOO HIGH. SO WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY COME BACK IN SESSION, AND I HOPE THAT WE'RE ABLE TO CAPITALIZE ON THAT AS WELL.

>> SO A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE SURPRISED BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS THOUGHT APPROPRIATIONS WAS WHAT THE SENATOR WAS WAITING FOR CONSIDERING A PLUM ASSIGNMENT. WERE YOU SURPRISED?

>> I THINK IT'S PROBABLY A DIFFICULT DECISION TO MAKE, AND I'M SURE HE MADE IT FOR THE RIGHT REASONS. HE GOING INTO A DIFFICULT TIME, HE STILL SITS ON APPROPRIATIONS. SO IT'S NOT LIKE HE DOESN'T HAVE --

>> THE SENIOR MEMBER OF APPROPRIATIONS.

>> THAT'S RIGHT. I THINK HE MADE THE DECISION THAT HE FELT GOOD ABOUT AND GOING INTO A NEW CHAIR UNDER DIFFICULT CONDITIONS PROBABLY ISN'T THE MOST ADVANTAGEOUS EITHER.

>> WELL, ONE OF THE REASONS SENATOR LEAHY CITED FOR STAYING, WAS THERE WERE A LOT OF ISSUES HE WANTED TO GET TO, ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, SUPREME COURT VACANCIES AND HE WANTS TO BE PART OF THIS GUN DEBATE AND WHAT SHOULD HAPPEN AFTER THIS TRAGIC SHOOTING IN NOWTOWN. DO YOU SUPPORT A BAN ON SEMIAUTOMATIC GUNS?

>> WELL, I THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE A DISCUSSION WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL, AND I'M GLAD THE SENATOR IS THERE TO TAKE THAT UP AS WELL. I THINK THIS DISCUSSION THAT WE'RE HAVING, WE CAN'T HAVE KNEE JERK REACTIONS. MY FEAR IS IF WE PASS GUN CONTROL ONLY, THAT EVERYONE WILL FEEL THAT THEY'VE FULFILLED THEIR RESPONSIBILITY AND THAT THE -- THIS WILL BE THE ANSWER TO ALL OF OUR PROBLEMS, AND I DON'T BELIEVE IT IS. I THINK THIS IS A BROADER DISCUSSION ABOUT MANY DIFFERENT ISSUES, AND I THINK IT HAS TO BE SOMEWHAT OF A PACKAGE. I KNOW THE PRESIDENT HAS FORMED A COMMISSION TO LOOK AT THAT WITH VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN HEADING THAT UP. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS BY THE END OF JANUARY WHEN THEY COME BACK WITH SOMETHING. BUT GUN CONTROL IN ITSELF ISN'T THE ANSWER. I THINK IT'S HEALTHY TO HAVE THE DISCUSSION, THOUGH.

>> WHERE DO YOU STAND ON THE ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT THERE SHOULD BE A BAN ON THESE SO-CALLED SEMIAUTOMATIC ASSAULT WEAPONS?

>> WELL, I'VE ALWAYS FELT MILITARY WEAPONS, I'M NOT SURE THAT NORMAL ORDINARY CITIZENS SHOULD BE IN CONTROL OF MILITARY WEAPONS. BUT IT'S THE DEFINITION, IT'S THE DETAILS OF WHAT THE LANGUAGE LOOKS LIKE IS GOING TO BE IMPORTANT. AND WE HAVE STRONG FEELINGS ON BOTH SIDES AND IT HAS TO DO WITH CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS. I UNDERSTAND. I'M A GUN OWNER MYSELF AND DON'T WANT MY RIGHTS TAKEN AWAY. SO I THINK, AGAIN, I THINK THIS IS A DISCUSSION THAT'S GOING TO BE HAD ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL AND I THINK THAT THAT'S WHERE IT SHOULD HAPPEN. WHILE I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED IF THERE WASN'T SOMETHING THAT HAPPENED IN THE VERMONT LEGISLATURE IN TERMS OF LANGUAGE, I STILL FEEL THAT WE'LL HAVE SOME ANSWERS, AGAIN, FROM THOSE IN WASHINGTON BEFORE LONG.

>> SO DO YOU THINK THERE SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT BE A BAN ON THE TYPE OF WEAPON THAT ADAM LANZA USED IN NEWTOWN WHICH IS WHAT THIS BAN WOULD COVER ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT?

>> AGAIN, I THINK I'D LIKE TO SEE WHAT THEY COME UP WITH FOR LANGUAGE. IF MILITARY WEAPONS, AGAIN, I'M NOT CONVINCED ORDINARY CITIZENS SHOULD BE IN CONTROL OF THOSE TYPES OF WEAPONS.

>> THE N.R.A. CAME OUT TODAY WITH A POSITION ON WHAT THEY THINK WOULD HELP, AND THEY SAID THERE SHOULD BE ARMED PEOPLE IN EVERY SCHOOL. AND THEY SAID, YOU KNOW, HOW YOU DEFEND AGAINST A BAD PERSON WITH A GUN IS YOU HAVE A GOOD PERSON WITH A GUN. DO YOU THINK THAT'S A GOOD IDEA?

>> I THINK THAT THAT WOULD BE A VERY EXPENSIVE PROPOSITION, AND I DON'T THINK IT ANSWERS THE QUESTION THAT WE HAVE AND I DON'T THINK IT SOLVES THE PROBLEM. BUILDING FORTRESSES FOR KIDS ISN'T NECESSARILY GOING TO KEEP THEM SAFE ALL THE TIME, AND THIS IS, AGAIN, A BROADER DISCUSSION THAN JUST ABOUT PROTECTING OURSELVES FROM THOSE WITH WEAPONS OF THAT TYPE. BUT I'M NOT IN FAVOR OF BUILDING FORTRESSES. I AM IN FAVOR OF KEEPING OUR KIDS SAFE. WE HAVE ON A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT LEVELS, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT OURSELVES AND FIGURE THIS OUT. IT WILL TAKE SOME SELF RESPONSIBILITY AS WELL IN TERMS OF PARENTING, IN TERMS OF BEING MORE AWARE, IN TERMS OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, AND THOSE THAT SUFFER FROM MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. WE HAVE TO REALLY ATTACK THIS ON THOSE LEVELS I THINK TO SOLVE IT. BUT WHILE IT'S ADVANTAGEOUS TO IMPLEMENT THOSE SAFEGUARDS IN SCHOOLS IN SOME CASES, I DON'T THINK PAINTING IT WITH A BROAD BRUSH REALLY SOLVES A PROBLEM.

>> SO NO GUNS IN SCHOOLS THEN?

>> IN TERMS OF --

>> OF HAVING AN ARMED PERSON THERE.

>> WELL, A RESOURCE OFFICER IS ALWAYS NICE TO HAVE. AGAIN, WE IN THIS STATE HAVE SEEN WHERE OUR SCHOOL BUDGETS ARE HIGH. WE'RE TRYING TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO REDUCE THOSE COSTS ON PROPERTY TAX OWNERS, PROPERTY TAX IN VERMONT. SO I THINK IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO DO THAT. AND AGAIN, I'M NOT CONVINCED THAT THAT'S THE ANSWER THAT WE NEED.

>> SO I'M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THE N.R.A.'S POSITION IS HERE. CONCERNED OF THE COST ISSUE OR IS IT PHILOSOPHICAL?

>> BOTH. I THINK THE COSTS WOULD BE VERY HIGH FOR SOMETHING LIKE THAT INITIATIVE, BUT ALSO PHILOSOPHICAL. I'VE APPRECIATED WHAT WE'VE HAD IN THIS STATE IN TERMS OF OUR OPEN STATEHOUSE WHERE WE DON'T -- IT'S THE PEOPLE'S HOUSE. WE ALLOW NORMAL CITIZENS TO COME IN AND TO BE ABLE TO TESTIFY AND TO VISIT AND WITHOUT THE HIGH SECURITY WE HAVE IN OTHER AREAS. I THINK THAT'S THE VERMONT WAY, AND I'D LIKE TO CONTINUE DOWN THAT PATH.

>> NOW, YOU SAID THAT YOU THINK THIS CONVERSATION NEEDS TO TAKE PLACE AT A FEDERAL LEVEL. IN THE STATE LEVEL, IN THE STATEHOUSE WHICH IS WHERE YOU SPEND ALL OF YOUR TIME, HOW SENSITIVE AN ISSUE IS GUN CONTROL IN VERMONT?

>> YOU KNOW, I PERSONALLY DON'T FEEL WE HAVE A GUN PROBLEM IN THIS STATE. WE'RE BLESSED I GUESS IN THAT RESPECT. SO, IT HASN'T RISEN TO THE LEVEL THAT IT PROBABLY HAS IN OTHER AREAS.

>> OKAY. IT'S INTERESTING. WE TRIED TO TALK TO GOVERNOR SHUMLIN ABOUT THIS ISSUE. HE'S OUT OF THE COUNTRY, AS WE SAID, ON VACATION. BUT HE HAS NOT SAID ANYTHING ABOUT THIS GUN ISSUE IN HIS STATEMENTS. SO WE'LL BE CURIOUS TO HEAR HIS TAKE AS WELL. LET'S MOVE ON TO SOME OTHER BIG ISSUES HERE. WE TALK ABOUT FEMA. THE STATE IS STILL STRUGGLING AFTER TROPICAL STORM IRENE. WE'RE DEALING WITH SOME OF THE ISSUES FROM FEMA NOT REIMBURSING VERMONT FOR THE WEATHER OFFICE COMPLEX, NOT REIMBURSE FOR HOMES. NOT REIMBURSING FOR WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE FOR CULVERTS. WHERE DO YOU THINK THIS WILL END UP? BECAUSE SANDY HAS REALLY DOMINATED THE DISCUSSION NOW.

>> EXACTLY. WE'VE BEEN VERY FORTUNATE TO REBOUND AS WELL AS WE HAVE FROM IRENE, BUT WE'RE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS YET. WE HAVE A LONG WAYS TO GO, EVEN BEFORE SOME OF THE FEMA ISSUES AROSE, WE KNEW THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE SOME SHORTFALLS. WE KNOW WE HAVE SOME FOLKS THAT ARE STILL DISPLACED AND STILL NEED HELP, AND THIS DOESN'T HELP. SO WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DETERMINE. I'M SURE WE WILL APPEAL SOME OF THOSE RULINGS FROM FEMA. BUT IF WE DON'T, AREN'T SUCCESSFUL, I THINK THE STATE HAS SOME RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE CARE OF SOME OF THE TOWNS AND TAKE CARE OF SOME OF THESE ISSUES. BECAUSE ON THEIR OWN, I'M NOT SURE THEY CAN DO THAT. THAT'S WHY I'M A LITTLE CONCERNED WHEN WE TALK ABOUT FORGING AHEAD IN WATERBURY WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT WE'RE GOING TO RECEIVE FROM FEMA IN THAT RESPECT. I'M IN FAVOR OF DOING SOMETHING THERE IN WATERBURY, TO BRINGING BACK 700 OR 800 EMPLOYEES IN SOME FASHION. BUT IF IT'S NOT A NEW BUILDING, IF WE CAN'T AFFORD THAT, I THINK WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE PACKAGE AND SEE HOW MUCH OUR SHORTFALL IS, BOTH FROM A MUNICIPAL LEVEL, PERSONAL LEVEL AND A STATE LEVEL.

>> SO IS THERE ANYTHING -- I KNOW YOU SAID IN THE GOVERNOR'S CABINET MEETING, HE'S INVITED YOU IN, EVEN THOUGH YOU'RE A MEMBER OF THE OTHER PARTY. DO YOU HAVE ANY SENSE OF HOW MUCH VERMONTERS CAN BE ON THE HOOK AFTER REBUILDING AFTER IRENE?

>> I DON'T HAVE ANY HARD AND FAST NUMBERS AT THIS POINT IN TIME BECAUSE IT'S A BIT FLUID. WE GET NEW INFORMATION ABOUT FEMA ALL THE TIME. TOWNS AND MUNICIPALITIES HAVE ALREADY SPENT SOME MONEY OR HAVE BONDED FOR SOME PROJECTS AND GONE OUT ON A LIMB TO MAKE PAYMENT ON SOME. I THINK THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FACE ONCE WE COME TO THE END OF THE ROAD AND DETERMINE WHETHER FEMA IS INDEED GOING TO COME THROUGH FOR US OR WHETHER THE LANGUAGE THAT SENATOR LEAHY HAS PLACED ON THE SANDY DOLLARS SURVIVES. AT THE END OF THAT DISCUSSION, I THINK THAT'S WHEN WE HAVE TO TOTAL IT UP AND FIND OUT, FIGURE OUT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO AND LUMP WATERBURY IN WITH THAT. BECAUSE WE CAN ONLY BORROW SO MUCH MONEY AND THAT'S THE ONLY WAY WE'RE GOING TO GET OUT OF THIS ONE SINGLE CATASTROPHIC EVENT, IS POSSIBLY TO BORROW MONEY TO DO IT. WE DO IT -- WE BOND EVERY YEAR, BUT THIS COULD EXCEED OUR BONDING CAPACITY.

>> SO DO YOU KNOW WHEN WE MIGHT HAVE MORE CLARITY ON WHAT'S COVERED AND WHAT'S NOT? AS YOU SAID, IN PARTICULAR CULVERTS, TOWNS HAVE ALREADY SPENT THE MONEY, DONE THE WORK THAT HAD TO BE DONE. THEY THOUGHT THEY WOULD GET MONEY BACK FROM FEMA. THEY'RE FINDING OUT THEY MAY NOT, THEY'RE IN LIMBO, THEY MAY TURN TO THE STATE FOR SOME OF THIS MONEY. WHEN MIGHT THERE BE MORE CLEAR NUMBERS?

>> OBVIOUSLY WE HOPE SOONER RATHER THAN LATER.

>> AFTER SESSION YOU THINK?

>> I HOPE SO. I THINK IT WOULD BE IMPORTANT TO DO THAT. AGAIN, WE'VE MADE SOME ASSUMPTIONS. MUNICIPALITIES HAVE MADE SOME ASSUMPTIONS THAT MAYBE WEREN'T CORRECT, AND WE THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO RECEIVE MORE MONEY THAN WE DID. THAT'S NOT TO SAY THE APPEAL WON'T BE SUCCESSFUL, BUT TIME WILL TELL.

>> A QUICK BREAK AND CONTINUE OUR INTERVIEW WITH LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOT. WE HAVE A LOT OF BIG ISSUES TO GET TO. WE'LL LOOK AT THE LEGISLATI

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE'RE TALKING WITH OUR NEWSMAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOT. HE'S ACTING GOVERNOR AS GOVERNORSHIP LYNN IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY IN ITALY ON VACATION. I GUESS I CAN TUL YOU ACTING GOVERNOR PHIL SCOT. LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES. GOVERNOR SHUMLIN WAS CLEAR HE WAS GOING TO PASS VERY CONTROVERSIAL BILLS BUT HE THOUGHT HE HAD THE VOTES FOR MARIJUANA, ASSISTED SUICIDE, DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR IMMIGRANTS, ALSO THE CHILD CARE UNION. DO YOU THINK ALL OF THAT CAN GET ACCOMPLISHED WITH A LARGE DEMOCRATIC MAJORITY IN THIS SESSION?

>> I SUPPOSE ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. BUT SOME OF THE ISSUES DON'T NECESSARILY FOLLOW PARTY --

>> ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT IN PARTICULAR WHAT SOME CALL PHYSICIAN ASSISTED SUICIDE?

>> THAT WOULD BE ONE. I'M NOT SURE ABOUT THE MARIJUANA ISSUE EITHER. I'VE SAID ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, I'M IN FAVOR OF DECRIMINALIZING SMALL AMOUNTS. NOT LEGALIZING BUT DECRIMINALIZING. THAT'S WHERE I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE AN INTERESTING DEBATE. THERE ARE MANY THAT FEEL WE SHOULD BE LEGALIZING, AND THAT'S NOT WHERE I AM COMING FROM AND MANY OTHERS.

>> DO YOU THINK SOME THINK OF THESE AS STEPS IF THEY GET DECRIMINALIZATION AND THEY TURN AROUND IN THE NEXT SESSION AND GO FOR LEGALIZATION LIKE SOME OTHER STATES HAVE ALREADY DONE?

>> THAT COULD BE TRUE. WHAT I'M CONCERNED ABOUT, AND YOU HEAR THESE REPORTS, ABOUT THINGS THAT HAPPEN 20, 30 YEARS AGO WHEN SOMEBODY WAS MUCH YOUNGER AND THE FELONY CONVICTION COMES BACK TO HAUNT THEM IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. WHETHER IT'S TO GET SCHOOL LOANS OR WHETHER IT'S ACROSS THE BORDER, WHETHER TO AGENT JOB WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THERE'S A LOT OF OBSTACLES. YOU DON'T THINK ABOUT THOSE THINGS WHEN YOU'RE 16, 17 AND 18 YEARS OLD AND THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THAT. MAYBE YOU SHOULD. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH REALITY THAT'S WHY I WOULD SUPPORT SOME VERSION OF THAT, BUT NOT LEGALIZATION.

>> WHAT ABOUT THE IDEA OF GIVING DRIVER'S LICENSES TO IMMIGRANTS, MIGRANTS, FOLKS WHO ARE HERE MANY TIMES ILLEGALLY WHICH IS WHY THEY CAN'T GET A DRIVER'S LICENSES OTHERWISE HERE?

>> I THINK IT'S A DIFFICULT ISSUE TO ADDRESS, AND I KNOW THAT THEY HAVE -- THE COMMITTEE, THE COMMISSION WAS FORMED TO LOOK AT THAT ISSUE. I'M NOT PARTICULARLY IN FAVOR OF IT. I DON'T LOOK AT HAVING A DRIVER'S LICENSE AS A RIGHT. I THINK IT IS A PRIVILEGE, AND I THINK THERE ARE WAYS -- I THINK CONGRESSMAN WELCH IS WORKING ON AN ISSUE RIGHT NOW, AGAIN, ON A NATIONAL SCALE THAT MIGHT HELP WITH THIS. BUT TO GIVE DRIVER'S LICENSES, LIKE VERMONT CITIZENS HAVE, RESIDENTS HAVE, I THINK IT COULD BE A LITTLE BIT DANGEROUS. I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL AS WE MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS. I DON'T THINK IT'S PARTICULARLY A SLAM DUNK WHEN IT HITS THE SENATE FLOOR OR IT HAS TO GET OUT OF THE COMMITTEES. IT WILL PROBABLY BE INTRODUCED IN THE SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE OR THE HOUSE TRANSPORTATION. THEN WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS FROM THERE. I THINK IT'S GOT A TOUGH ROAD AHEAD.

>> AGAIN, IT'S SUCH A CHARGED ISSUE. THERE ARE DIFFERENT NAMES FORM IT. DEATH WITH DIGNITY, ASSISTED SUICIDE, WHAT'S YOUR POSITION ON THAT?

>> I'VE BEEN CLEAR. I'M NOT IN FAVOR OF THE DEATH WITH DIGNITY ISSUE, AND IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT, PERSONAL ISSUE. I THINK IT DOESN'T RUN ACROSS THE PARTY LINES. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER YOU'RE A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT. I THINK IT'S A PERSONAL ISSUE. AGAIN, I THINK IT'S A VERY CLOSE VOTE. WE'LL SEE WHAT HAPPENS. IT'S HEALTHY TO HAVE THE DEBATE. I'M STILL CONCERNED WHEN I HEAR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES AND THE ELDERLY THAT ARE CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT THAT MEANS TO THEM AND THAT SLIPPERY SLOPE THAT THEY'RE CONCERNED ABOUT I DON'T THINK IT'S WORTH IT. I JUST THINK PALLIATIVE CARE AND MAKING SURE PEOPLE ARE COMFORTED, AND THOSE DIRE TIMES IS THE ANSWER AT THIS POINT IN TIME. I KNOW -- AGAIN, IT WOULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO GO THROUGH YOURSELF. FOR ME PERSONALLY, I HAVE THIS INDEPENDENT STREAK IN ME THAT WANTS TO LEAVE ME ALONE AND LET ME DO WHAT I WANT. I HAVE TO LOOK AT THE BROADER PICTURE, AND THOSE WITH DISABILITIES, THOSE, THE ELDERLY ARE CONCERNED.

>> AND CHILD CARE UNIONS.

>> THAT'S ANOTHER DIFFICULT ISSUE BECAUSE IT'S NOT GIVING UNIONIZING, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, IT'S NOT JUST UNIONIZING INDIVIDUALS. IT'S UNIONIZING BUSINESSES. I THINK THAT'S A MUCH DIFFERENT ISSUE. AGAIN, THE RAMIFICATIONS OF HAVING A BILL THAT UNIONIZES BUSINESSES I THINK WILL LEAD TO OTHER ISSUES THAT WE MAY NOT WANT. I CAN JUST IMAGINE SOME OTHERS THAT DEAL WITH THE STATE, OTHER BUSINESSES THAT MIGHT WANT TO GET TOGETHER TO UNIONIZE, WHETHER IT BE AN AGENCY ON A TRANSPORTATION PROJECT OR SOME OTHER ISSUE, I JUST THINK IT'S DANGEROUS. AGAIN, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT INDIVIDUALSES. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BUSINESSES.

>> NOW, OF COURSE, YOU ONLY GET TO VOTE IN THE SENATE IF THERE IS A TIE. YOU'VE HAD TO A COUPLE OF TIMES, A FEW TIMES. DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT COMING UP AT ALL THIS SESSION?

>> YOU MEAN THE TIE VOTE?

>> YEAH.

>> I THINK THERE'S SOME ISSUES THAT ARE PRETTY CLOSE. I THINK THE UNIONIZATION MIGHT BE. I'M NOT SURE. MAYBE NOT. WE HAVE A NEW SENATE THAT'S ARRIVING. THE DEATH WITH DIGNITY COULD BE AN ISSUE AS WELL. YOU NEVER KNOW.

>> RIGHT. TALKED TO SOME OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, DON TURNER, WHO IS THE HOUSE MINORITY LEADER. THERE'S A CONVERSATION THAT YOU KNOW IS GOING ON IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY ABOUT WHAT IS NEXT FOR THE PARTY. SOMEONE SUGGESTED SOME KIND OF A REBOOT, A REGROUP. DO YOU THINK THAT'S NEEDED GIVEN THE ELECTION RESULTS WHERE YOU'RE THE ONLY STATE ELECTED OFFICER WHERE REPUBLICANS LOST SEATS IN THE HOUSE.

>> I THINK IT'S OBVIOUS THAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS TO REDEFINE ITSELF AND FIGURE OUT WHERE IT WANTS TO GO. I WAS FORTUNATE MYSELF TO BE RE-ELECTED. BUT I'M A MODERATE. I HAVE MY OWN AGENDA, SO TO SPEAK, AND SO I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE PARTY ITSELF WANTS TO DO. IT'S OH A DISCUSSION THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN AND WE'LL EVOLVE.

>> WHERE DO YOU THINK THE PARTY GOT OFF TRACK?

>> I THINK SOME OF IT IS ON A NATIONAL SCALE. I THINK THAT THERE ARE MANY THAT PAINTED REPUBLICANS WITH A BROAD BRUSH AND YOU GET CAUGHT UP IN THE PERCEPTION WITH THE NATIONAL REPUBLICANS. I DON'T KNOW THAT I FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY. I LOOK AT VERMONT REPUBLICANS AS BEING A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT. WHEN I LOOK BACK, I REMEMBER I HAD DURING THE CAMPAIGN, I WAS BEING INTERVIEWED AT ONE OF THE PAPERS, AND THEY MADE THE COMMENT, SOMETHING TO THE EFFECT THAT "YOU DON'T SEEM TO BE A REGULAR, NORMAL REPUBLICAN, A VERMONT REPUBLICAN." I SAID, I ACTUALLY FEEL AS THOUGH I AM. I FEEL AS THOUGH I'M A REPUBLICAN LIKE DEEN DAVIS OR GEORGE AKIN OR JIM DOUGLAS. I THINK THAT TYPE OF REPUBLICAN, COMMON SENSE, CARES ABOUT THE CONSERVATION AND LAND THE ENVIRONMENT AND SO FORTH. BUT MORE PRAGMATIC FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE, I THINK THERE ARE MANY AREAS THAT WE CAN AGREE.

>> SO ARE YOU GOING TO HELP REPUBLICANS REGROUP, REBRAND?

>> IF THEY'D LIKE HELP, I WILL BE THERE TO HELP.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE SENATE. YOU ALLUDE TODAY THE FACT THAT OF COURSE AFTER THE ELECTION THERE HAS BEEN, SOME SENATORS HAVE LEFT, SOME NEW ONES HAVE COME. IN THE LAST BIENNIUM, THE SENATE LEADER GOT SOME CRITICISM FOR HOW THE SENATE WAS BEING RUN. THERE WAS SOMEONE WHO TRIED TO RUN AGAINST HIM FOR SENATE PRESIDENT PRO-TEM. JOHN CANVAS IS BACK, HE'S NEW AND IMPROVED, LEARNED HIS LESSONS. HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT IN THE SENATE? ARE YOU HOPEFUL IT'S DIFFERENT THIS SESSION?

>> I THINK IT WAS A BIT OF THE PERFECT STORM IN THE SENATE. WE HAD -- I WAS NEW. I WAS THE NEW LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. WE HAD A NEW SECRETARY OF THE SENATE. WE HAD A NEW PRO-TEM. WE HAD SIX NEW SENATORS THAT WERE MAYBE MORE EXPERIENCED. THEY WEREN'T JUST FRESHMEN. SO -- AND WE HAD A NEW GOVERNOR AS WELL. SO IT WAS DIFFERENT. THE DYNAMICS WERE DIFFERENT. SO I THINK JOHN DID A GOOD JOB UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES. HE LEARNED A LOT. I THINK THAT HE TRIED TO CATER TO A LOT OF PEOPLE, AND IT'S DIFFICULT WHEN YOU HAVE SUCH A MAJORITY AND YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE IS HAPPY. THAT'S NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE. HE WAS TRYING HARD TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY WERE. HE TRIED TO APPEASE THEM IN MANY DIFFERENT WAYS. I THINK THIS TIME HE'S CERTAINLY GOT THE JOB, UNDERSTANDS THE POSITION BETTER THAN MAYBE HE DID BEFORE. I THINK THINGS WILL BE BETTER AND WILL BE MUCH MORE STRUCTURED. I'VE LEARNED A LOT MYSELF. I THINK WE'LL BE A BETTER SENATE.

>> WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU HAVE LEARNED? YOU'RE NOW HEADING INTO YOUR SECOND TERM.

>> I THINK THAT WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT TOGETHER IN TERMS OF HOW TO RUN THE SENATE JUST FROM A STRATEGIC STANDPOINT. BUT AGAIN, I THINK THAT MY ABILITY, AS I LOOK BACK AT MY CAREER AS A SENATOR OVER TEN YEARS. I STARTED OFF, AND I LESSENED AND LEARNED A LOT -- AND I LISTENED AND LEARNED A LOT. I WAS ABLE TO GET SOME THINGS DONE. I THINK THE SAME THING HOLDS TRUE HERE. I'VE LEARNED A LOT OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS ABOUT VERMONT AND ABOUT VERMONTERS. I THINK THAT NOW THAT I'VE BEEN ABLE TO ASSERT MYSELF IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS, I THINK I CAN HELP MORE BEHIND THE SCENES AND TRY AND MAKE SURE THAT WE'RE FIRING ON ALL EIGHT CYLINDERS.

>> WHAT DO YOU THINK SURPRISED YOU THE MOST?

>> IN TERMS OF THE SENATE OR THE POSITION?

>> POSITION.

>> WELL, I THINK IN THE POSITION ITSELF, IT'S SOMEWHAT DIFFICULT IN TERMS OF BEING NOT PART OF THE LEGISLATURE IN ONE SENSE. YOU'RE NOT PART OF THE ADMINISTRATION. SO YOU'RE CAUGHT SOMEWHAT IN BETWEEN. SO IT'S A POSITION THAT HAS A LOT OF LATITUDE. YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT WITH IT. I THINK THAT'S BEEN BOTH HELPFUL AND A HINDERANCE IN SOME RESPECTS. I'VE BEEN ABLE TO WORK MY WAY THROUGH IT.

>> OKAY. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR PHIL SCOT ACTING GOVERNOR UNTIL MONDAY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME. YOU CAN REACH HIM IN MONTPELIER WHERE HE HAS AN OFFICE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US THIS SUNDAY. HAVE A GREAT DAY, EVERYONE. TAKE CARE. CREDIT

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