YCQM: February 17, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: February 17, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE, THANK YOU FOR JOINING US, I'M KRISTIN CARLSON. OUR NEWS MAKER THIS SUNDAY MORNING, GOVERNOR PETER SHUMLIN. GOVERNOR SHUMLIN, THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> GREAT TO BE WITH YOU.

>> JOINING IN THE QUESTIONING IS ANSON TEBBETTS.

>> GOOD MORNING. LET'S BEGIN WITH THE HOT ISSUE AT THE LEGISLATURE. A LOT OF PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THE GAS TAX. YOUR ADMINISTRATION NEEDS MORE MONEY TO MATCH FEDERAL MONEY. WE'RE HEARING FROM A LOT OF VERMONTERS, THEY DON'T WANT AN INCREASE IN THE GAS TAX. YOUR THOUGHTS?

>> NONE OF US WANT TO INCREASE THE GAS TAX. HERE'S THE CHALLENGE: THE GOOD NEWS STORY IS THAT WE ARE DRIVING MORE EFFICIENT CARS AND TRAVELING LES MILES, SO WE HAVE LET LITERALLY CUT THE AMOUNT OF GAS THAT WE BURN, JUST IN THE STATE OF VERMONT BY 34 MILLION GALLONS IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT SINCE OUR TRANSPORTATION REVENUES, THE MONEY THAT WE USE TO REBUILD OUR CRUMBLING BRIDGES AND PAVE OUR POTHOLE-FILLED ROADS IS LINKED TO THE NUMBER OF GALLONS THAT WE SELL. THERE IS A LEAK IN THE BUCKET OF THE REVENUE THAT WE USED TO BRING IN. IN OTHER WORDS, WE'RE BRINGING IN LESS MONEY THAN WE USED TO FROM THE SAME TAX AT THE SAME LEVEL. SO WE HAVE A CHOICE. WE CAN EITHER FIND A BETTER WAY TO RAISE THOSE REVENUES SO THAT WE'RE BRINGING IN -- WE'RE PLUGGING THE HOLES IN THE LEAKY BUCKET, OR WE CAN SEND $40 MILLION OF FEDERAL FUNDS THIS YEAR ALONE BACK TO WASHINGTON DFL -- DC THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO CATCH UP ON OUR CRUMBLING ROADS AND BRIDGES. THAT'S THE CHOICE FOR VERMONT. WHY DOES IT WORK THAT WAY? FOR EVERY DOLLAR -- 20 CENTS THAT WE SPEND -- FOR EVERY DOLLAR THAT WE SPEND ON FEDERAL HIGHWAY ALLOCATION, WE HAVE TO PUT IN 20 CENTS. WE HAVE TO PUT IN 20 CENTS. SO 20 CENTS STATE, 80 CENTS FEDERAL.

>> SOME MIGHT ARGUE IF YOU WANT PEOPLE TO, YOU KNOW, RUN UP MORE REVENUE, PEOPLE SHOULD DRIVE MORE, STATE COULD GET MORE MONEY, LOWER IT, AND IT MAY INCREASE PEOPLE DRIVING, BUYING MORE GAS AND THEN YOU WOULD GET YOUR REVENUE.

>> WELL, THAT'S A RISKY PROPOSITION. THE BOTTOM LINE IS, NONE OF US WANT TO RAISE THE GAS TAX. HOWEVER, WE ALSO DON'T WANT -- THERE AREN'T TOO MANY VERMONTERS WHO WOULD SAY, HEY, YOU KNOW, OUR ROADS ARE IN GREAT SHAPE, OUR BRIDGES ARE BEAUTIFUL, SEND $40 MILLION BACK TO WASHINGTON THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO REPAVE AND CONTINUE TO REBUILD. THE CHALLENGE -- THIS ISN'T JUST A VERMONT PROBLEM. THE OTHER 49 GOVERNORS ARE FACING EXACTLY THE SAME CHALLENGE. WE TALKED ABOUT IT CONSTANTLY. EVERYONE HAS THE SAME, PRETTY MUCH THE SAME FUNDING METHOD, WHERE AS WE DRIVE LES MILES, DRIVE MORE EFFICIENT CARS, STATE REVENUES ARE DROPPING. SO THE QUESTION IS, DOES VERMONT WANT TO FACE THIS HEAD-ON, FIND A WAY TO PLUG THE HOLES IN THE LEAK BY CHANGING THE WAY THAT WE TAX GAS, WHICH WILL MEAN A 6 TO 8 CENT INCREASE, OR DO WE WANT TO SEND THE MONEY BACK TO WASHINGTON AND CONTINUE TO SEE VERMONT'S ROADS AND BRIDGES CRUMBLE. THOSE ARE THE TWO CHOICES.

>> WHERE DOES THIS END, GOVERNOR? IT SEEMS LIKE THE PLAN NOW, WE HAVE LESS MONEY COMING IN, WE'LL TAX VERMONTERS MORE. HOW ARE WE GOING TO KEEP DRIVING LESS, KEEP TAXING VERMONTERS MORE. WHERE DOES THIS END?

>> WE DON'T WANT TO TAX THEM MORE, WE WANT TO GIT THE MONEY -- GET THE MONEY -- LET'S NOT FORGET WE WERE TAKING THIS MONEY IN A FEW YEARS AGO, BECAUSE WE'RE DRIVING LESS, WE ARE NOT TAKING IN THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY NOW. SO THE WAY TO FIX IT, AND THE PROPOSAL THAT WAS MADE BY LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE IS TO CHANGE THE TAX FROM A PER GALLON TAX TO A 4% SALES TAX ON GAS. THAT'S WHAT THEY PROPOSED. NOW, YOU COULD LEAVE THE SALES TAX ON GAS THE WAY IT IS, OR THE TAX ON GAS THE WAY IT IS, AND RAISE IT BY RAISING MOTOR VEHICLE FEES. THAT'S NOT VERY POPULAR, EITHER. THE CHAL INK WE HAVE -- CHALLENGE IN THE STATE, WE CAN EITHER PLUG THE HOLES IN THE LEAK OF THE BUCKET OR WATCH OUR ROADS AND BLIJS CRUMBLE.

>> -- BRIDGES CRUMBLE.

>> COULD YOU GET THE MONEY SOMEWHERE ELSE? WHY TRANSPORTATION, COULDN'T YOU FIND, OR YOU COULD CUT MONEY SOMEWHERE ELSE, YOU COULD ALLOCATE SOME OTHER MONEY, HAVE ANOTHER TAX THAT MAY BE NOT AS ONEROUS ON VERMONTERS. WE ALL KNOW VERMONTERS HAVE TO DRIVE TO WORK. WE DON'T HAVE A BIG PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE FOR, YOU KNOW, OR WALKING TO WORK OR SO FORTH.

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, WE ARE A RURAL STATE. WE TRAVEL BY CAR. AND AS YOU KNOW, PUBLIC TRANSIT WON'T GET MOST VERMONTERS WHERE THEY NEED TO GO. THEY LIVE AT THE END OF DIRT ROADS. HERE'S THE CHALLENGE. THERE AREN'T ANY OTHER SOURCES OF REVENUE. RIGHT NOW WE'VE GOT, AS I SAID MANY TIMES, VERMONT'S BIGGEST CHAL HE CAN IS NOT THAT OUR TAXES ARE -- CHALLENGE IS NOT THAT OUR TAXES ARE NOT HIGH ENOUGH, THEY ARE TOO HIGH. NO CAPACITY IN THE INCOME TAX, THE SALES TAX, THE ROOMS AND MEALS TAX, THE TRANSPORTATION REVENUE AND BUDGET HAS ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTED BY THE PEOPLE WHO USE THE ROADS. AND AS IT SHOULD BE. THE PEOPLE WHO USE THE ROADS AND BRIDGES SHOULD PAY TO KEEP THEM UP. SO THE QUESTION WE HAVE IS WE CAN LEAVE IT EXACTLY THE WAY IT IS AND CONTINUE TO WATCH OUR REVENUES DRIBBLE OUT OF THE BUCKET, TAKE IN LESS MONEY FROM VERMONTERS THAN BEFORE AND HAVE A CONTINUING STRUGGLE, KEEPING OUR ROADS AND BRIDGES UP AND RUNNING. IT IS A TOUGH CHOICE, BUT I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE NOT SEND $40 MILLION THAT WE NEED DESPERATELY TO REPAVE, TO BUILD, REBUILD OUR BRIDGES BACK TO WASHINGTON, DC. IF WE DO IT, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO CANCEL SOME PROJECTS THAT WE'RE PLANNING TO DO IN COMMUNITIES ACROSS VERMONT.

>> BUT YOU DID SAY THAT YOUR BUDGET -- AS YOU KNOW THE STATE BUDGET IS BIG, BIG NUMBERS, LOTS OF PRIORITIES, LOTS OF SPENDING PLANS. YOU ARE PAINTING A PICTURE THE CHOICES ARE EITHER INCREASE THE GAS TAX OR WE DON'T GET THE MONEY, BUT IN A STATE BUDGET THERE'S LOTS OF DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE. WHY NOT GO SOMEWHERE ELSE FOR THAT MONEY. WHY NOT CUT OTHER PROGRAMS, LOOK AT OTHER SPENDING AREAS TO OFFSET THIS? WHY IS THIS THE ONLY OPTION?

>> WELL, YOU KNOW, THE WAY THAT WE ALWAYS FUNDED STATE GOVERNMENT, EVERY GOVERNOR, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, A GENERAL FUND, TRANSPORTATION FUND, AND THE TRANSPORTATION FUND HAS ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTED BY THESE REVENUES. THE QUESTION FOR US IS, REALLY THIS SIMPLE: DO WE FIND A WAY TO RETURN -- WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT NEW MONEY, NOT TALKING ABOUT NEW TAXES. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IF WE WANT TO CONTINUE TO MAYBE TAYNE OUR ROADS AND BRIDGES IN THE STATE IN A ARE CRUMBLING, I KEEP SAYING THEY WERE BUILT ABOUT THE SAME TIME THAT I WAS, AND THEREFORE THEY ARE GETTING GRAY, THEY ARE WRINKLED AND GETTING OLD. WE KNOW WE'RE LOSING THE BATTLE. THE GOOD NEWS IS IN THE LAST COUPLE YEARS, THE SECRETARY, SEARLES AND MY TEAM, WE'VE ACTUALLY CUT THE GAP WITH THE NUMBER OF TOTALLY INADEQUATE BRIDGES AND TOTALLY POTHOLE-FILLED ROADS IN THE STATE. BUT WE GOT MORE WORK TO DO. IF WE SEND THE MONEY BACK TO WASHINGTON IT WILL SET US BACK.

>> THE CHAIR OF THE SENATE TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE WAS A LITTLE TAKEN ABACK THIS WEEK WHEN HE LEARNED THAT YOUR ADMINISTRATION WANTED TO BUY A STATE PLANE, WHEN YOU ARE ASKING FOR MORE MONEY, MORE TAXES, AND YOU WANT TO SPEND OVER TEN YEARS ABOUT $1.2 MILLION. GOOD IDEA, OR ARE YOU HAVING SECRETARY THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT?

>> YOU KNOW -- SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT THAT.

>> HERE IS THE SITUATION WITH THE PLANE. RIGHT NOW VERMONT HAS ASSESS IN A THAT WAS BUILT IN -- CESSNA THAT WAS BUILT IN 1964, 1962, OVER 50 YEARS OLD. WE NEED A PLANE FOR TWO REASONS FOR THE STATE OF VERMONT. THE FIRST IS, FOR AGENCY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, A LOT OF WORK THEY HAVE TO DO, THEY HAVE TO DO BY AIR. THE SECOND IS, WE OPERATE AIRPORTS ACROSS THE STATE, THEY ARE JOB CREATORS, REVENUE CREATORS, WE NEED ONE AIRPLANE TO BE ABLE TO FLY IN AND OUT OF THEM. SO THE TRANSPORTATION BUDGET INCLUDED AN ALLOCATION TO REPLACE THE 50-YEAR-OLD PLANE. I DON'T PARTICULARLY CARE IF WE DO IT THIS YEAR OR NEXT YEAR. AT SOME POINT WE HAVE TO DO IT. I OCCASIONALLY FLY IN THAT PLANE. THE LAST TIME I WAS IN IT THE DOOR FLEW OPEN. THE GAS GAUGE WAS BUSTED. SO KIND OF HAVE TO TAP ON IT TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE FUEL IN THE TANK. WE HAVE A PLANE THAT NEEDS TO BE REPLACED AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE. NO REASON WE HAVE TO DO IT THIS YEAR, BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE.

>> YOU ARE SAYING POSSIBLY NOW LOOKING AT WELL OVER A MILLION DOLLARS IN A TIME WHEN YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT RAISING SOME TAXES HERE, SO IT IS NOT THIS YEAR, YOU ARE GOING TO PUSH FOR THE NEXT YEAR, THEN?

>> I UNDERSTAND, AS GOVERNOR, THAT WE NEED AN AIRPLANE THAT FLIES. SOMETIMES OUR PLANE DOES, SOMETIMES OUR PLANE DOESN'T. IT IS 50 YEARS OLD. I THINK WE ALL RECOGNIZE THAT THE PLANE -- THE STATE NEEDS ONE PLANE THAT WILL GET US THERE. AND I DON'T PARTICULARLY CARE, SINCE IT'S BEEN PUT OFF FOR A LONG TIME WHETHER WE DO IT THIS YEAR, THE NEXT OR THE YEAR AFTER, EVENTUALLY WE'LL HAVE TO MAKE THIS INVESTMENT.

>> VERMONT HAS PLENTY OF PILOTS AND PLANES. COULDN'T YOU CONTRACT THAT WORK OUT TO THE AGENCY OF NATURAL RESOURCES?

>> THE AGENCY LOOKED AT THAT. THE SECRETARY LOOKED AT THAT AND LOOKED AT RENTING, LESIONING OR PURCHASE. -- LEASING OR PURCHASING. THEY CAME BACK WITH A FLAN THAT'S THE MOST ECONOMICAL. I THINK IT'S A HUNDRED AND SOME THOUSAND A YEAR.

>> 155,000 A YEAR.

>> IN ORDER -- THAT'S THE CHEAPEST SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM. THIS IS NOT A BIG PRIORITY. WE COULD PUT IT OFF AGAIN, CONTINUE TO FLY THE OLD PLANE, BUT EVENTUALLY WE WILL TO GET A NEWER PIECE OF EQUIPMENT THAN WHAT WE HAVE NOW.

>> WHY THIS MODEL OF PLANE. WE TALKED TO SOME PILOTS. YOU TALKED THAT THE STATE PLANE IS KEY TO THE NATURAL RESOURCES, FOR SURVEYING, TAKING PICTURES, PLANNING, BUT THIS IT NEW PLANE WE'RE HEARING, BECAUSE OF THE SPEEDS IT FLIES, IT WOULD NOT -- PILOTS ARE TELLING US, IT WOULD NOT BE EFFECTIVE AT THAT WORK. SO WHY IS THIS PLANE THE PLANE?

>> YOU KNOW, YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO TALK WITH THE FOLKS WHO ACTUALLY RUN THE AIR END OF OUR TRANSPORTATION OPERATION. I'M JUST NOT AN EXPERT ON IT, NUMBER ONE AIRPLANES, OR NUMBER ONE, WHICH PLANE THEY ARE PLANNING TO REPLACE OR EXISTING PLANE WITH. AS I SAID, WE GOT A LOT OF CHALLENGES AHEAD. TRYING TO CREATE JOBS, ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES. THIS ISN'T A BIG PRIORITY. WE CAN TALK ABOUT THIS PLANE FOR AN HOUR, BUT IT IS NOT A BIG DEAL.

>> ONE LAST QUESTION ON THE PLANE. THIS HAS MORE SEATING CAPACITY. YOU'VE USED THE PREVIOUS PLANE MAYBE SIX TIMES, I THINK. DO YOU PLAN TO USE THIS NEW PLANE MORE? HOW WOULD YOU USE IT?

>> I DON'T THINK I SHOULD BE PLANNING ON USING A NEW PLANE THAT DOESN'T EXIST. WE ARE GOING TO BE USING THE OLD PLANE. I SUGGESTED THAT THIS NOT BE AN INVESTMENT WE MAKE THIS YEAR.

>> SO YOU ARE GOING TO PUSH THIS OFF. IS THIS PLAN NOW NOT PART OF THIS BUDGET, YOU ARE GOING TO PROPOSE THIS NEXT YEAR?

>> AS I SAID, THIS WAS NEVER A BIG PART OF OUR EFFORT TO CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES. WE HAVE REAL FINANCIAL CHALLENGES THIS YEAR. WE ARE GOING TO PUT OFF THE PLANE.

>> SO WHY WAS IT ROLLED OUT, THEN, AT ALL?

>> WHEN YOU DEAL WITH A $5 BILLION BUDGET, AS ANSON WORKING IN THE STATE GOVERNMENT CAN TELL YOU, YOU DON'T GO THROUGH EVERY LINE ITEM BEFORE THEY ARE INTRODUCED. THERE IS A RECOGNITION THAT THE AVIATION END OF OUR OPERATION, THAT THE PLANE IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE REPLACED. THEY SUGGESTED THAT WE START ON THAT THIS YEAR. NOT A BIG DEAL TO WAIT. WE'VE WAITED 50 YEARS, WE CAN WAIT 51 OR 2.

>> FOR REAL, ONE LAST QUESTION NOW.

>> OKAY.

>> AND THEN WE WILL MOVE ON.

>> WE WILL BE RIDING IN THE EXISTING PLANE AND YOU ARE GOING TO FLY OUT THE WINDOW.

>> GOVERNOR, DID YOU KNOW THIS WAS IN YOUR BUDGET AND BEING APPROACHED TO LAWMAKERS?

>> NO, I DID NOT. IHAPPY TO UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS. AS I SAID, IT IS NOT A BIG PRIORITY OF MINE.

>> FAIR ENOUGH.

>>> SOME MEMBERS OF YOUR PARTY ARE NOT VERY HAPPY WITH YOU. THEY BELIEVE SOME OF THE PROPOSALS THAT YOU ARE PROPOSING ARE HURTING THE POOR, THE INCOME TAX CREDIT SHIFTING THAT OVER TO HELPING OTHERS AND CHILD CARE AND SO FORTH. FEELING SOME HEAT FROM THE PARTY NOW ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS THAT MAYBE SOME PAST GOVERNORS WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO PROPOSE?

>> YOU KNOW, THIS IS HOW I VIEW MY JO, AND I -- MY JOB, I LOVE BEING GOVERNOR. I PROMISED WHEN I TOOK THIS JOB THAT I WOULD GET SOME TOUGH THINGS DONE, AND IF ANY PARTY AGREES WITH ME ALL OF THE TIME, THERE'S PROBABLY SOMETHING WRONG WITH THEM, BECAUSE WE -- I AM NOT DRIVEN BY PARTY PHILOSOPHY. I'M DRIVEN BY ONE SINGLE THING, AND THAT IS, HOW DO WE CREATE JOBS, AND HOW DO WE CREATE PROSPERITY FOR VERMONTERS. NOW, MY IDENTIFICATIONAL -- EDUCATIONAL PROPOSAL IS A PACKAGE, AND I THINK IT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO TO GROW JOBS. LET ME TELL YOU WHY. WHEN I TRAVEL AROUND THE STATE, WHICH I DO A LOT OF, I PROBABLY TRAVEL AROUND VERMONT TALKING TO PEOPLE MORE THAN ANYONE, WHAT I HEAR CONSISTENTLY FROM ONE END OF THE STATE, MASSACHUSETTS LINE TO THE CANADIAN BORDER, FROM OUR EMPLOYERS IS, HEY, GOVERNOR, WE'VE GOT JOBSZ. WE JUST -- WE'VE GOT JOBS. WE CAN'T FIND ENOUGH EMPLOYEES TRAINED IN SCIENCE, MATH, TECHNOLOGY, AND ENGINEERING WITH THOSE SKILLS TO DO THE JOBS. SO I LOOKED AT THE SITUATION, I SAY, HOW DO WE TAKE THE EXISTING MONEY THAT WE'RE SPENDING NOW, WHICH IS $15,500 A PUPIL, THAT'S THE HIGHEST AVERAGE, SECOND HIGHEST AVERAGE IN THE COUNTRY, AND TAKE A GOOD EDUCATION SYSTEM, WHICH WE HAVE, AND MAKE IT THE BEST. AND PART OF MY PACKAGE INCLUDES MAKING THE SINGLE BIGGEST INVESTMENT IN EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION IN THE HISTORY OF THE STATE, $17 MILLION. BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THE MONEY WE SPEND EARLY ON THOSE KIDS WILL ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE A BRIGHT FUTURE. AND EVERY DOLLAR YOU SPEND ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION YOU SAVE $7 LATER ON. HERE IS WHAT FOLKS ARE OBJECTING TO. MAKING THAT INVESTMENT BY TAKING A PORTION OF THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT THAT MATCHES A FEDERAL CREDIT AND INSTEAD DEDICATING THOSE DOLLARS TO THE CHILDREN. LOW-INCOME CHILDREN, OUR MOST VULNERABLE CHILDREN WHO WE WANT TO GET A STRONG START. WHY IS THAT SO IMPORTANT? BECAUSE WITH ALL THE MONEY THAT WE SPEND EQUALIZING THE WAY WE RAISE MONEY IN THE STATE, PER PUPIL, WE HAVE NOT MOVED THE NEEDLE ONE BIT IN TERMS OF MOVING LOW-INCOME KIDS, KIDS LIVING IN POVERTY, BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL. AND WE KNOW WHEN WE TALK TO EMPLOYERS THAT WE NEED MORE KIDS WHO HAVE MOVED BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL, IT DOESN'T MEAN A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE, BUT SOME TRAINING BEYOND HIGH SCHOOL TO SUCCEED IN THE JOBS THAT THEY HAVE AVAILABLE. SO I SAY MY PLAN IS INCREDIBLY COMPASSIONATE, ON THIS VALENTINE'S DAY WEEK, IT COMES FROM THE HEART, AND I AM SAYING LET'S MOVE MORE LOW-INCOME KIDS FROM POVERTY TO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND LET THEIR PARENTS GET A JOB AND THRIVE. NOW, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? RIGHT NOW VERMONT IS THE ONLY STATE LEFT IN THE COUNTRY THAT HAS WELFARE REACH OUT BENEFITS FOR LIFE. WHAT WE DO IS WE HAVE A CURRENT SYSTEM THAT PUNISHES WELFARE BENEFITS WHEN THEY GET A JOB. AND I WANT TO TELL YOU THE STORY BRIEFLY, BECAUSE IT ILLUSTRATES IT REALLY WELL. I WAS DOWN VISITING SONEX INDUSTRIES IN ROCKINGHAM, THEY MAKE SECONDARY AUTO PARTS. THE BUSINESS THAT STARTED IN A GARAGE THAT I USED TO OWN IN PUTANY, THE CEO CALLS ME IN AFTERWARDS AND SAYS, YOU KNOW, GOVERNOR, WHY DO YOU HAVE A WELFARE SYSTEM THAT PUNISHES PEOPLE TO WORK? I SAID WHAT DO YOU MEAN? HE SAID WE HIRED A WOMAN FROM BRATTLEBORO, SHE GOT PREGNANT AT 15, SHE HAD THREE KIDS. SHE GOT HER KIDS INTO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WHEN THEY WERE OLD ENOUGH, AND CAME TO WORK FOR US. WE LOVED HER. SHE LOVED US. SHE LOVED HAVING A JOB. SHE FELT SO GOOD ABOUT HERSELF. SHE COMES TO US FOUR WEEKS INTO THE JOB IN TEARS AND SAYS I GOT TO QUIT BECAUSE I HAVE LOST MY CHILD CARE SUBSIDY, MY HOUSING SUBSIDY IS BEING DEDUCTED AND I CANNOT AFFORD TO WORK WITH YOU. I'VE GOT TO GO BACK HOME AND GO BACK ON WELFARE.

>> SO IT WAS BETTER FOR HER TO BE ON REACH UP THAN TO WORK, IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

>> YOU GOT IT. THAT'S WHAT OUR SYSTEM DOES RIGHT NOW. IT PUNISHES PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WORK, AND THEN WE'RE SURPRISED WHEN THEY STAY ON WELFARE. SO WHAT OUR SYSTEM DOES, MY PROPOSAL IS CHANGE THAT. IT GIVES THEM THE CHILD CARE BENEFIT SO THEY DO BETTER IF THEY WORK, THEY MAKE MORE MONEY IF THEY WORK THAN IF THEY STAY AT HOME. IT ENDS WELFARE FOR LIFE, AND SAYS YOU CAN BE ON FOR THREE YEARS, YOU GOT TO GET A JOB AFTER THAT. AND WHEN YOU GET THAT JOB, IT ALLOWS YOU TO JOIN THE REGULARS OF VERMONTER -- THE REST IN PROSPERITY BY ACTUALLY MAKING MORE MONEY AS YOU GET A RAISE, INSTEAD OF HAVING IT TAKEN FROM YOU, THAT RAISE, AS YOU MOVE UP THE ECONOMIC LADDER.

>> WE ARE GOING TO TAKE A BRIEF BREAK AND CONTINUE OUR

>>> WELCOME BACK. WE'RE CONTINUING OUR INTERVIEW WITH GOVERNOR SHUMLIN, FOCUSED ON THE NUMBERS THIS WEEK, GOVERNOR. ONE OF THE THINGS YOU SAID EARLY IN THE PROGRAM, YOU HAVE BEEN SAYING NOW FOR YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS, YOU HAVE IT DOWN TO YOUR SOUND BITE, THE GIST IS THAT, YOU KNOW, VERMONTERS ARE TAXED ENOUGH, AND YOU HAVE BEEN VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT FOR A LONG TIME. IN YOUR BUDGET SPEECH YOU EVEN SAID TODAY I PRESENT A PROPOSAL THAT BALANCES THE BUDGET WITHOUT RAISING BROAD-BASED TAXES. CURIOUS ABOUT YOUR DEFINITION OF BROAD-BASED TAXES, BECAUSE RIGHT NOW WE'RE HEARING ABOUT A GAS TAX THAT'S GOING TO BE INCREASED, EVEN THOUGH SHIFTED, AND YOU SAY IT IS THE SAME WE WERE PAYING, BUT THAT IS STILL GOING TO HIT PEOPLE. THERE'S ALSO GOING TO BE A 5 CENT PROPERTY TAX INCREASE. A LOT OF PEOPLE CONSIDER BOTH OF THOSE BROAD-BASED TAXES.

>> WELL, I WOULD CERTAINLY CONSIDER THE PROPERTY TAX BROAD-BASED TAX, BUT LET ME BE CLEAR. I AS GOVERNOR, NOR LEGISLATORS, CONTROL WHAT THE STATEWIDE PROPERTY TAX RATE IS, THAT DECISION, AS WE ALL KNOW, SPENDING, WHAT WE SPEND ON SCHOOLS AND THEREFORE HOW MUCH WE PAY, DECIDED COMMUNITY BY COMMUNITY THROUGH LOCAL CONTROL, MEETING DAY FIRST TUESDAY IN MARCH.

>> AS YOU KNOW, THERE ARE THINGS THE STATE CAN DO TO IMPACT THAT SPENDING AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. THERE'S THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TRIED SINCE YOU'VE BEEN GOVERNOR. GOVERNOR DOUGLAS HAS TRIED AS WELL. YOU CAN LIMIT SPENDING, YOU CAN TRY TO HOLD THE RATE OF INCREASE AT THE DEBT LEVEL.

>> YOU CAN COME UP WITH MONEY MAGICALLY TO PAY DOWN THE SPENDING DECISIONS PEOPLE MAKE LOCALLY. MY POINT IS MONTPELIER DOES NOT CONTROL THE PROPERTY TAX, THAT'S A DECISION THAT VERMONTERS MADE LOCALLY. A GREAT TRADITION, IT IS GOING TO STAY THAT WAY. WHILE IT IS GOING UP 5 CENTS, YOU CAN'T BLEE BLAME THE GOVERNOR FOR THAT, OR ANY GOVERNOR. YOU GOT TO BLAME LOCAL SCHOOL BOARDS, WHO WORK VERY HARD TO STABILIZE BUDGETS OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. THEY HAVE' DONE A GOOD JOB. WE ACTUALLY HAD ZERO INCREASE FOR A COUPLE YEARS. OBVIOUSLY 5% IS MORE THAN I WANT. 5 CENTS IS MORE THAN I WANT, BUT THAT YOU GOT TO LOOK TO YOUR LOCAL COMMUNITIES, AND IF YOU WANT TO YELL AT SOMEONE, YELL AT THEM. SECOND IN TERMS OF BROAD-BASED TAXES, THIS IS WHAT I MEAN. SALES TAX, INCOME TAX, ROOMS AND MEALS TAX. I MADE VERY CLEAR THAT THOSE ARE HIGH ENOUGH. THEY DON'T HAVE ANY MORE CAPACITY, AND THEREFORE WE NEED A GOVERNOR WHO HAS THE BUSINESS EXPERIENCE AND THE CREATIVITY TO SPEND THE EXISTING DOLLARS THAT WE'RE SPENDING NOW BETTER. AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT MY EDUCATION PROPOSAL, AND MY OTHER PROPOSALS AND BUDGET DOES.

>> NOW, GOVERNOR CAN GO IN AND TAKE MONEY FROM THE EDUCATION FUND TO FUND SOME OF YOUR INITIATIVES AS WELL. IS THAT OFF THE TABLE?

>> THE EDUCATION PROPOSALS THAT I PUT FORWARD ARE PAID FOR WITH EXISTING DOLLARS. LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. TODAY WE ANNOUNCED A REALLY GREAT INITIATIVE THAT WILL ALLOW HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO TAKE DUAL ENROLLMENT AS WE CALL IT, OR CLASSES IN THEIR HIGH SCHOOL, THAT WILL GIVE THEM COLLEGE CREDIT WITH THE DOLLARS THAT WE'RE SPENDING RIGHT NOW. CCV AND THE OTHER COLLEGES THAT ARE GOING TO CERTIFY THIS AND OVERSEE THE INSTRUCTORS HAVE AGREED TO DO IT FOR $ 50 A KID -- 150 A KID. WHAT I'M SAYING, WITH THE EXISTING 15,500 WE'RE SPENDING PER PUPIL, LET THAT $150 FOLLOW THE STUDENT, PAY CCV OUT OF THE MONEY WE'RE SPENDING NOW, AND WE CAN GET MORE KIDS A FREE YEAR OF COLLEGE WHILE THEY ARE IN HIGH SCHOOL. THAT'S GOOD COMMON SENSE.

>> THAT IS SO IF YOU ARE A SENIOR NOW, THINKING ABOUT, YOU CAN GO TO A COLLEGE FOR $150 YOU CAN TAKE A COURSE. IS THAT WHAT YOU'RE SAYING?

>> I'M SAYING THAT THERE'S TWO PIECES. DUAL ENROLLMENT, WE OFFER THE COURSE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL, CERTIFIED BY CCV OR THE OTHER SCHOOLS, THEY WILL CHARGE $150 FOR THAT COURSE AND WILL TAKE THAT MONEY -- FIRST FUND IT THROUGH THE GENERAL FUND, EVENTUALLY IT WILL COME OUT OF YOUR $15,5 HUB PER PUPIL SPENDING. ALSO A SECOND PROGRAM CALLED EARLY COLLEGE. GO TO CCV, A STATE COLLEGE, PRIVATE COLLEGES, UVM. THAT WILL BE AS LOW AS $300. AGAIN, IT SHOULD BE EVENTUALLY PAID FOR OUT OF THE EDUCATIONAL INDICATION. RIGHT NOW WE'LL FUND IT THROUGH THE GENERAL FUND BUDGET.

>> DO YOU HAVE ANY ESTIMATE HOW MUCH IT WILL COST?

>> WE BUDGETED $400,000. MY BUDGET INCLUDED THAT IN THIS BUDGET YEAR FOR THE '14 BUDGET YEAR.

>> THAT'S GENERAL FUND MONEY.

>> YES.

>> WE'RE PRIMING THE PUMP FOR GENERAL -- WITH GENERAL FUND MONEY.

>> GREAT DISCUSSION ACROSS THE STATE TALKING ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE, GETTING THEM TO STAY HERE, NOT TO MOVE OUT. WE LEARNED THAT THE SEND SUGGESTION, 1944 -- THE CENSUS, 1944, THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR SINCE 1944 THE POPULATION OF VERMONT HASN'T DECREASED.

>> RIGHT.

>> AS GOVERNOR, GOVERNORS OFTEN THINK LONG TERM, THAT HAS TO BE OF SOME CONCERN TO YOU THAT OUR POPULATION IS DECREASING.

>> HUGE CONCERN TO ME. AND THAT'S WHY MY EDUCATION PACKAGE IS SO IMPORTANT. WE'VE GOT TO FIND WAYS, NUMBER ONE, TO BETTER TRAIN THE STUDENTS THAT WE HAVE RIGHT NOW FOR THE JOBS THAT WE HAVE RIGHT HERE IN VER MOST. -- IN VERMONT. THAT'S A BETTER PROBLEM TO HAVE THAN WE HAD A FEW YEARS AGO, WHERE BUSINESSES WERE SAYING WE'RE LAYING PEOPLE OFF THE -- OFF, WE DON'T HAVE ANY JOBS. I MEAN, THE GOOD NEWS IS, YOU KNOW, RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE THIS SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI. WE'VE GOT THE FASTEST ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE OF ANY OF THE NEW ENGLAND STATES, INCLUDING THAT ONE FROM THE FIRST GOVERNOR IN 50 YEARS THAT I CAN SEE FROM MY FARM, THAT ONE JUST EAST OF US OVER THERE THAT ALWAYS CLAIMS THEY GROW FASTER THAN WE DO. WE'RE GROWING FASTER THAN THEM. WE ARE THE ONLY STATE IN 2011 THAT SAW INCOME GROWTH. THE ONLY STATE OF THE 50 STATES. THERE'S ONLY 4%, BUT IT WAS 4% BETTER THAN THE REST OF AMERICA. SO MY POINT IS, AS I LOOK FORWARD, WE HAVE GOT TO DO MORE THINGS TO KEEP OUR KIDS HERE. NOW, MY EDUCATION PACKAGE OFFERS A NEW PROGRAM THAT SAYS ANY STUDENT, ANY STUDENT THAT MAJORS OR STUDIES, GRADUATES FROM A DEGREE IN SCIENCE, MATH, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, THE S.T.E.M. FIELDS, AND TAKES A JOB IN VERMONT FOR FIVE YEARS, WE WILL PAY YOUR ENTIRE LAST YEAR OF COLLEGE TUITION, IF YOU WILL STAY AND WORK HERE IN VERMONT. WE SAY IF YOU HAVE A TWO-YEAR ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE UNDER THE SAME TERMS, WE'LL PAY YOUR WHOLE FINAL TUITION. SO WE'RE DOING A LOT OF THINGS TO GIVE INCENTIVES FOR VERMONT STUDENTS AND STUDENTS WHO COME AND GO TO SCHOOL HERE, WE GOT 50,000 OUT OF STATERS WHO COME AND GO TO COLLEGE, TO STAY RIGHT HERE AND WORK AT MILAN TECHNOLOGIES, GS PRECISION, BRATTLEBORO, ACROSS THE STATE, TO FILL THE JOBS WE HAVE.

>> WOULD YOU SIGN OR VETO A BILL THAT LAWMAKERS ARE TALKING ABOUT TAX SUGAR-SWEETENED BEVERAGES?

>> YOU KNOW, I FOLLOW IN THE GREAT TRADITION OF FORMER GOVERNORS, BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT WHO NEVER ISSUE VETO THREATS UNTIL WE ACTUALLY VETO A BILL. SO I AM NOT GOING TO GO THERE. BUT I WILL TELL YOU THAT I THINK IT IS A BAD IDEA. I THINK IT IS A BAD IDEA FOR A COUPLE OF REASONS. THE FIRST IS, I DON'T BELIEVE THAT YOU DRIVE HUMAN BEHAVIOR THROUGH TAX POLICY WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD. I JUST THINK THAT'S NAIVE. IF YOU RAISE A CAN OF SODA 10 OR 11 CENTS, PEOPLE AREN'T GOING TO STOP DRINKING IT. THEY ARE JUST GOING TO PAY MORE FOR IT. AND I WOULD ARGUE THAT THE PEOPLE THAT THAT HITS THE HARDEST ARE THE POOR AND THE LOW-INCOME FOLKS. IN OTHER WORDS, CONSUMPTION TAXES HURT THE PEOPLE WHO CAN LEAST AFFORD IT. THE THIRD POINT I MAKE IS, IF YOU WANT TO HELP OUT NEW HAMPSHIRE AND OUR NEIGHBORING STATES, YOU KNOW, PASS A SUGAR TAX IN VERMONT, AND WATCH THEM ALL GO OVER AND BUY CARTONS OF SODA IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, WHICH, YOU KNOW, JUST MAKES OUR PROBLEMS, LOSING JOBS TO OUR STATES WORSE. I AM NOT A BIG FAN OF IT.

>>> WITH THIS EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT AS YOU MENTIONED, A LOT OF MEMBERS OF YOUR OWN PARTY ARE NOT HAPPY WITH IT. THEY SAY IT IS GOING TO HURT SOME LOW-INCH HE COME PEOPLE. -- LOW-INCOME PEOPLE. IF LAWMAKERS CAN COME UP WITH ANOTHER FUNDING SOURCE TO PAY FOR THAT, INSTEAD OF THE EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT, SOME FORM OF A TAX, WOULD YOU SUPPORT THAT? SPALT WELL, I'VE SAID VERY CLEARLY I DON'T WANT TO RAISE THE SALES TAX, THE INCOME TAX OR ROOMS AND MEALS TAX --

>> IF THIS HE COULD FIND SOME OTHER --

>> THEY WOULD HAVE TO INVENT ANOTHER TAX.

>> WHO CAME UP WITH PULL TICKETS FOR TAX?

>> I CAN'T SUGGEST IT WAS MY IDEA, BUT MY ADMINISTRATION DID.

>> AND GOING BACK TO THAT 17 MILLION YOU THINK YOU CAN RAISE BY 10% TAX ON THESE BREAK-OPEN TICKETS.

>> YES.

>> BREAK-OPEN.

>> IN CLUBS, BARS, ET CETERA.

>> LOT OF THEM ARE BEING SOLD. THAT WE CAN TELL YOU.

>> YOU THINK YOU CAN RAISE $17 MILLION THROUGH THAT. SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE NO WAY!

>> I KNOW. AND UNTIL WE ACTUALLY PASSION THE TAX, WE WON'T KNOW. BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, MASSACHUSETTS AND CONNECTICUT ARE DOING IT RIGHT NOW. WE KNOW, WE BASE THIS ON -- YOU KNOW, WHEN HE THEY FIRST KALE TO ME, THEY SAID 23 MM. I SAID THAT -- 23 MILLION. THEY CAME BACK WITH A MORE CONSERVATIVE NUMBER OF 17 MILLION. WE KNOW 130 MILLION OF THEY WILL WERE VOLUNTARILY RECORDED THIS YEAR ALONE. SO WE KNOW THAT 130 MILLION WERE SOLD, AND LOT DON'T GET REPORTED. SO WE THINK OUR NUMBER IS CLOSE.

>> HAVE YOU HEARD FROM THE CLUBS? HAVE YOU HEARD FROM THE ELKS CLUBS AND VFW'S? I SUSPECT THEY ARE WATCHING THIS CLOSELY. THEY COULD MAKE THE ARGUMENT THAT THIS IS THEIR FUNDRAISER, IF YOU RAISE THAT, THEY ARE NOT GOING TO SELL AS MUCH OR HAVE MONEY FOR THEIR CHARITIES.

>> RIGHT. WE STRUCTURED THIS IN SUCH A WAY THAT WE THINK WHEN WE ACTUALLY EXPLAIN IT, HOW WE'RE DOING THIS, MANY OF THEM HAVE BEEN EMBRACING THE IDEA. FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT IN THE CURRENT SYSTEM, AND I WON'T GET TOO INTO THE WEEDS IN THIS, BUT IN THE CURRENT SYSTEM, THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE MONEY FROM THAT TO RUN THE ADMINISTRATION OF THEIR CLUBS. WE'RE GOING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN GET A FAIR ADMINISTRATIVE FEE OUT OF THAT 10 CENTS ON EVERY DOLLAR. SO THERE ARE REASONS TO BELIEVE THAT WE WILL STRENGTHEN THEIR FINANCIAL SITUATION BY GIVING THEM A BIGGER PIECE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE FEE, AND THAT THE MONEY THAT'S ACTUALLY SUPPOSED TO BE GOING TO CHARITY, WILL ACTUALLY GET TO CHARITY IN EVERY CASE. I'LL NOT SUGGESTING FOR ALL OF THEM, BUT WHEN YOU ARE THIS BIG A BUSINESS, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS, THERE IS NO OVERSIGHT BY GOVERNMENT, THERE IS CERTAINLY ROOM FOR INACCURACY OR CREATIVE BOOKKEEPING. NOT BY THE CLUBS, BUT AS YOU PROBABLY KNOW, THESE ARE ALSO SOLD IN PRIVATE BARS. WE SAY BETTER OVERSIGHT, GIVE THE CLUBS A BIGGER PIECE OF THE ACTION SO THEY CAN PAY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS, AND HELP US WHAT THIS MONEY IS BEING USED FOR. NOT JUST RAISING TAX FOR THE FUN OF IT. WE'RE RAISING MONEY TO HELP LOW-INCOME VERMONTERS STAY WARM IN THE WINTER, BECAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS CALLOUSLY CUT OUR LIGHT HEAT PROGRAM THAT ALLOWS VERMONTERS TO GET LOW-INCOME HEATING OIL IN THE IN THE WINTERTIME. 67% OF VERMONTERS HEAT WITH OIL. IT IS ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE FOR VERMONTERS, I KNOW, TO LET OUR NEIGHBORS FREEZE IN THEIR HOMES. THAT'S WHY WE'RE DOING IT.

>> QUICKLY, WHAT IS THE CUT FOR THE CLUBS, THEN? WHAT WOULD THEY GET OUT OF THIS 10 CENTS?

>> %, 3%?

>> -- 2%, 3%.

>> I DON'T KNOW THE PERCENTAGE. I WOULD ANSWER IF I COULD. IT IS A GOOD CUT THAT WE BELIEVE WILL LIBERALIZE THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS THAT THEIR CLUBS ARE IN BETTER SHAPE WHEN WE ARE DONE.

>> RIGHT NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK THE ODDS ARE, YOU CALLED SOME VERY CONTROVERSIAL BILLS IN THE BEGINNING, CHILD CARE UNIONIZATION, DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS, ARE THOSE BILLS ON TRACK IN YOUR MIND?

>> I DON'T REALLY PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO THOSE BILLS, TO BE HONEST WITH YOU. NONE OF THEM HAVE BEEN -- ONLY ONE HAS BEEN DEBATED SO FAR. BUT THE THINGS I AM FOCUSED ON IS PROSPERITY, JOBS, AND JOB CREATION. AND I BELIEVE THAT BY BALANCING THE BUDGETS, WITHOUT RAISING BROAD-BASED TAXES, NOT ASKING VERMONTERS TO PAY MORE, BY HAVING THE BEST EDUCATION SYSTEM, EARLY CHILDHOOD THROUGH HIGHER EDUCATION, WORK FORCE RETRAINING, WE ARE GOING TO WIN ON THE PROSPERITY FROST. THAT'S WHAT I'M FOCUSED ON.

>> WE WILL LEAVE IT THERE. GOVERNOR PETER SHUMLIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME. CHECK IN WITH YOU AGAIN AS THE SESSION PROGRESSES.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME. I WANT YOU TO COME UP IN THE PLANE MY NEXT TRIP.

>> ALL RIGHT. UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M KRISTIN CARLSON. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY, EVERYONE. Captioning provided by Caption Associates, LLC captionassociates.com

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