Governor Peter Shumlin spoke to Vermonters Monday morning at The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast, sharing what he calls key factors to a healthy economy.
"We've got a bright future. We will compete. We will continue to grow jobs and economic opportunities. We just have to get those things right -- that is the best economic development plan you can put together," Shumlin said.
The governor addressed numerous questions about Vermont's health care system and his hopes to see a publicly financed system, but he acknowledges the long road to a solution. "We're not going to find one single thing that's going to solve the problem. If we rely entirely on pay roll tax and the pay roll tax is too high, you leave too many people out," he said.
"Not everybody would agree with how the governor wants to re-frame health care but they agree that we have to do something different, and that's where the spirit of Vermont and Vermonters come together," said the LCRCC's Tom Torti.
But some business leaders are still worried about Vermont Health Connect. Tom Clavelle runs a construction company and says it seems the new exchange brings more problems than solutions. "For a lot of businesses, while what they have may not be perfect, it's a system that has worked as far as individual businesses are concerned. As far as the overall health care system is concerned, it may not be a system that works," Clavelle said.
Health care was not the only topic. A qualified workforce is also a concern. The Governor said the key is access to education. "The biggest challenge that we face as we go into this recovery is that we ensure that we have enough employees to do the work of the 21st century -- is having an educated workforce," he said.
Another concern -- taxes and the budget. The governor says his plan includes reducing the curve of growth and cutting spending as opposed to raising taxes. "My budget this year will make additional reductions in that one time funding so we can be on a responsible fiscal path going forward," Shumlin said.
But with a $70 million dollar budget deficit already, it wont be an easy job. Shumlin presents the details of his budget to lawmakers on Wednesday.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>