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YCQM: July 27, 2014 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: July 27, 2014

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -


>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S
MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX
BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR
NEIGHBORS.
THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."


>>> GOOD MORNING.
I'M KYLE MIDURA.
WELCOMES TO "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."
THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US AT
OUR NEW TIME.
OUR GUEST TODAY IS CYRUS PATTEN,
THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT.
MR. PATTEN, THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR JOINING US.


>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.


>> WHAT IS CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT?


>> WELL, WE ARE A NONPROFIT,
NONPARTISAN ADVOCACY GROUP.
WE'RE ISSUE-FOCUSED.
WE'RE FOUNDED IN 2011 BY THREE
VERMONTERS, AND WE HAVE A BROAD
FOCUS, BUT ALL RELATING TO THE
SHARED PROSPERITY OF VERMONTERS.
WE WERE FOUNDED BECAUSE BRUCE
LISMAN SPECIFICALLY SPENT A LOT
OF TIME TRAVELING THE STATE,
TALKING TO AS MANY PEOPLE AS CO,
AND GIVEN HOW MANY PEOPLE OUR
FOUNDERS SPOKE TO THAT WERE
UNHAPPY WITH HOW THINGS WERE
GOING IN THE STATE AND FELT LIKE
IT COULD DO BETTER, THEY COULD
NO LONGER NOT DO ANYTHING, SO
THEY FOUNDED CAMPAIGN FOR
VERMONT AS AN INDEPENDENT,
NONPARTISAN GROUP.


>> WHAT KIND OF ISSUES DO YOU
FOCUS ON?


>> WE HAVE TAKEN A PRETTY FIRM
STANCE ON TRANSPARENCY IN
GOVERNMENT AND ACCOUNTABLE
GOVERNMENT, ETHICS STANDARDS IN
OUR GOVERNMENT GENERALLY RELATED
TO GOOD GOVERNANCE.
WE CARE DEEPLY ABOUT RESPONSIBLE
BUDGETING IN THE STATE.
WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT SOME OF
THE DEMOGRAPHIC INDICATORS GOING
IN THE WRONG DIRECTION AND OUR
ECONOMY IS STILL STRUGGLING
BEHIND THE NATIONAL RECOVERY.
WE'VE TAKEN A VERY FIRM STAND ON
EDUCATION REFORM AND THE NEED
FOR REFORM IN GOVERNANCE AND
FINANCING OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM.


>> WELL, LET'S START THERE WITH
EDUCATION QUICKLY.
A LOT OF TALK OF CONSOLIDATION
POTENTIALLY AT THE STATEHOUSE
THIS YEAR.
THAT IS AN IDEA THAT CAMPAIGN
FOR -- IS THAT AN IDEA THAT
CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT CAN GET
BEHIND?


>> TO BE SPECIFIC, WHEN YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT CONSOLIDATION OF
SCHOOL DISTRICTS, NO.
WE BELIEVE IN LOCAL CONTROL.
VERMONTERS BELIEVE IN LOCAL
CONTROL OF THEIR SCHOOL
DISTRICT.
IT'S VERY IMPORTANT IN MY
COMMUNITY, THAT I HAVE A VOICE
IN HOW MY SCHOOL IS RUN AND HOW
MY KIDS' EDUCATION IS RUN.
WE HAVE BEEN IN FAVOR OF
CONSOLIDATING SOME
ADMINISTRATIVE FUNCTIONS ACROSS
OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM.
IF YOU COUNT THE SCHOOL BOARD,
SUPERVISORY UNIONS, THERE ARE
CLOSE TO 300 GOVERNING BODIES IN
VERMONT, GOVERNING OUR EDUCATION
SYSTEM.
THAT SYSTEM WAS DESIGNED WHEN
YOU COULDN'T MOVE EASILY AROUND
THE STATE TO SHARE INFORMATION,
TO COLLABORATE.
IT'S TIME TO UPDATE THAT SYSTEM.
I THINK IT WAS 1897 THE LAST
TIME THAT OUR GOVERNANCE
STRUCTURE WAS UPDATED, SO WE
HAVE A -- WE HAVE QUITE A BIT OF
DETAIL IN OUR EDUCATION
PROPOSAL.


>> NOW, THAT IS A QUALITY OF
EDUCATION ISSUE OR IS THAT A
SPENDING ISSUE, GIVEN HOW MUCH
THE STATE OF VERMONT COSTS FOR
EDUCATING OUR PRE-K THROUGH 12
KIDS HAS RISEN OVER THE LAST
DECADE OR SO?


>> IT'S BOTH, DECIDEDLY BOTH.
WE ARE SPENDING A LOT ON SOME
MEASURES MORE THAN ANY OTHER
STATE PER PUPIL TO EDUCATE OUR
KIDS, SO THE COSTS ARE OUT OF
CONTROL.
VERMONTERS ACROSS THE BOARD ARE
COMING TO US SAYING WHAT DO WE
DO ABOUT MY PROPERTY TAXES THAT
HAVE RISEN SOMETIMES
DOUBLE-DIGIT PERCENTAGES EACH
YEAR, YEAR OVER YEAR.
AT THE SAME TIME, WE HAVE SOME
POSITIVE INDICATORS FOR OUR
EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES AND WE HAVE
SOME THAT REALLY NEED TO BE
BETTER.
I'LL GIVE YOU A GREAT EXAMPLE.
WE LIKE TO SAY THAT WE HAVE ONE
OF THE HIGHEST HIGH SCHOOL
GRADUATION RATES IN THE STATE.
THAT'S TRUE -- OR SORRY, IN THE
COUNTRY, AND THAT'S TRUE.
IF YOU FOLLOW THAT POPULATION
OUT, THOUGH, HALF OF HIGH
SCHOOL -- GRADUATING HIGH
SCHOOLERS IN VERMONT GO ON TO A
FOUR-YEAR COLLEGE.
ABOUT HALF OF THAT GROUP WILL
GRADUATE WITH A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE
WITHIN SIX YEARS.
SO 25% OF OUR GRADUATING HIGH
SCHOOL POPULATION IS ACTUALLY
COMPLETING A COLLEGE DEGREE.
THAT'S NOT NECESSARILY THE
MEASURE OF SUCCESS AND THERE ARE
A LOT OF SUCCESSFUL VERMONTERS
THAT DON'T HAVE A COLLEGE
DEGREE, BUT LET'S NOT LASER
FOCUS ON ONE OUTCOME BECAUSE'S
POPULAR, BOUGHT LET'S FOCUS ON
HOW THE BROADER EDUCATION SYSTEM
CONTRIBUTES TO THAT.
PRE-K THROUGH 12, WE SPEND AS
MUCH PER CHILD AS ANY STATE IN
THE COUNTRY.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT HIGHER ED,
WE'RE AMONG THE LEAST SPENDING
STATES WHEN IT COMES TO PER
CAPITA.
HOW DO YOU CROSS THOSE DIVIDES?
IS THAT A SMART APPROACH AND
WHAT MIGHT BE A WISER APPROACH?


>> PART OF OUR POSITION AROUND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INVOLVES
PARTNERING WITH OUR INSTITUTIONS
OF HIGHER ED.
WE HAVE QUITE A FEW PER CAPITA
IN VERMONT.
WE TEND TO WIN ALL THE
PER-CAPITA RACES AND THAT'S
ANOTHER ONE WE'VE WON.
WE NEED TO PARTNER WITH THOSE
INSTITUTIONS AND SOMETIMES THAT
MEANS MORE FINANCIAL SUPPORT.
SOMETIMES THAT MEANS PARTNERING,
HELPING, FACILITATING
RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN INDUSTRY
AND HIGHER ED AND BUSINESS AND
HIGHER ED TO MAKE SURE THAT
VERMONTERS WHO GRADUATE OUR
COLLEGES HAVE A PLACE TO WORK
WHEN THEY GRADUATE, AND WE HAVE
FOCUSED A LITTLE TOO MUCH ON
SOME OTHER PRIORITIES INSTEAD OF
INCENTIVES TO KEEP VERMONTERS
HERE.


>> HOW DOES THE HIGHER ED
PICTURE PLAY INTO THE DRAIN
WE'RE SEEING OF FOLKS BETWEEN
THE AGES OF 20 AND 35 OR SO, WHO
ARE IN THE MIDST OF AN EXODUS
FROM OUR STATE?


>> SURE.
WE'VE ACTUALLY HAD A LITTLE BIT
OF POPULATION GROWTH IN VERMONT,
BUT AGAIN, IF YOU LOOK AT THE
WHOLE PICTURE, DRILL DOWN INTO
THE DETAILS AND DON'T TAKE JUST
WHAT'S NECESSARILY REPORTED, YOU
HAVE TO CONSIDER THE ENTIRE
POPULATION SITUATION ON EVERY
LEVEL.
SO OUR -- THE GROWTH IN OUR 25
TO 40 WORKING POPULATION,
YOUNG -- I THINK THEY CALL THEM
THE YOUNG WORKING -- WORKFORCE,
IT'S BEEN ZERO TO .2, I THINK,
DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER.
WE ARE AN AGING POPULATION,
THOUGH, SO OUR OVER-65 GROUP HAS
BEEN GROWING, I THINK IT WAS
AROUND 13% YEAR OVER YEAR.
SO THERE'S SIGNIFICANT GROWTH
THERE, BUT IT'S ALL BEING DRIVEN
BY FOLKS WHO ARE NOT ENTERING
THE WORKFORCE.
TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, WE NEED
TO -- WE NEED A VIBRANT
WORKFORCE.
WE NEED HIGHLY SKILLED, HIGHLY
TRAPED PEOPLE TO WORK IN VERMONT
OR ELSE BUSINESS DON'T COME
BECAUSE THEY CAN'T SUCCEED HERE.
THE UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS IS
ANOTHER GREAT EXAMPLE OF SOME OF
OUR POPULATION INDICATORS THAT
WE NEED TO CONSIDER.
WE HAVE -- IT'S EASY TO LOOK AT
OUR UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS GOING
DOWN AND CALL IT A DAY AND SAY
THAT'S A POSITIVE MOVEMENT AND
WE WANT FEWER PEOPLE LOOKING FOR
JOBS.
BUT LOOK A LITTLE DEEPER.
I THINK WE GAINED -- I'M SORRY,
OR LOST ABOUT 8,000 PEOPLE IN
THE WORKFORCE.


>> 8500.


>> 8500 PEOPLE IN THE WORKFORCE
BETWEEN 2010 AND 2014.
THERE ARE ABOUT 9,000 PEOPLE,
LESS PEOPLE LOOKING FOR WORK.
SO IF YOU JUST LOOK AT THE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE LOOKING FOR
WORK, THAT'S GONE DOWN AND
THAT'S A GREAT INDICATOR.
OUR WORKFORCE HAS ALSO SHRUNK
AND THAT'S WHAT'S DRIVING THAT
LOW UNEMPLOYMENT RATE.


>> SO WHAT KIND OF IDEAS DOES
CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT HAVE IN
ORDER TO ADDRESS THAT, WHEREAS
WITH SOME OF THE TRANSPARENCY
ISSUES, SOME OF THE ETHICAL
ISSUES, YOU'VE GOT POLICIES
PAPERS UP ON YOUR WEBSITE.


>> WE DO.


>> THAT'S NOT THE SAME FOR
ECONOMIC ISSUES NECESSARILY AS
FAR IS A THE POLICY BRIEFS ARE
CONCERNED.
ARE THERE SPECIFIC IDEAS?
YOU DO LAY OUT SOME CORE
CONCEPTS, BUT DON'T REALLY DRILL
TOO FAR INTO DETAILS.


>> WE DO.
THERE'S ACTUALLY QUITE A BIT OF
DETAILS IN OUR PAPERS, JU JUST
HAVE TO READ -- YOU JUST HAVE TO
READ ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE
BOTTOM AND THERE'S SOME VERY
DETAILED RECOMMENDATIONS IN
THERE.
OUR FOUNDERS, IN TOURING THE
STATE AND LISTENING TO
VERMONTERS, FOUND A COUPLE VERY
RESONANT PIECES OF INFORMATION.
ONE IS THAT IT'S VERY HARD TO,
TO DO WELL IN VERMONT.
IT'S HARD TO START A BUSINESS,
IT'S HARD TO GROW A BUSINESS.
IT'S HARD TO ACCESS THE
WORKFORCE WITH THE EXPERTISE
THAT YOU NEED IN ORDER TO
THRIVE, SO SOME OF OUR SPECIFIC
RECOMMENDATIONS RELATED TO THAT.


>> SUCH AS?


>> SO WE NEED TO INCREASE ACCESS
TO CAPITAL FOR BUSINESSES.
THAT'S ONE OF THE MAJOR THEMES
THAT SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS ARE
TELLING ME.
THEY NEED ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE
CAPITAL SO THEY CAN GROW OR
START A BUSINESS.
THAT'S HUGE.
WE SPEND -- WE DISTRIBUTE OUR
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DOLLARS
ACROSS A MYRIAD STATE AGENCIES
AND QUASI STATE AGENCIES THAT
ARE SUPPORTING ECONOMIC GROWTH
IN VERMONT AND THERE'S NOT
NECESSARILY IF A COHESIVE VISION
FOR -- NECESSARILY A COHESIVE
VISION FOR HOW TO SUPPORT
BUSINESS IN VERMONT.
THERE ISN'T -- WE HAVE A -- WE
HAVE SOME PEOPLE DEDICATED TO
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN STATE
GOVERNMENT, BUT WHAT WE NEED IS
ONE QUARTERBACK, SO TO SPEAK,
WHO IS IN CHARGE OF DEVELOPING
VERMONT'S ECONOMY.
SO THAT ONE PERSON, THAT ONE
DEPARTMENT COULD FACILITATE OR
COORDINATE THE FUNDS THAT WE
CURRENTLY HAVE DISTRIBUTED ALL
ACROSS THE BOARD.


>> LET'S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE
OTHER ISSUES.
YOU MENTIONED TRANSPARENCY IN
ETHICS.
TALK TO ME ABOUT SOME OF THE
WORK CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT IS
TRYING TO DO THERE.
IT SEEMS LIKE A MUCH FUZZ SKIER
AREA FOR -- FUZZIER AREA TO
PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND FROM A LAY
PERSON'S PERSPECTIVE.


>> IT'S HARD TO UNDERSTAND IN
PART BECAUSE WE DON'T --
VERMONTERS HAVE A HARD TIME
BELIEVING, WHEN WE TELL THEM
THAT VERMONT DOESN'T HAVE A
ROBUST STANDARD TO OUR
LEGISLATORS AND PUBLIC
OFFICIALS.
IT'S KIND OF COMMON SENSE AND
PEOPLE THINK WE HAVE THAT.
WE'RE ONE OF THREE STATES
WITHOUT THAT.
TRANSPARENCY IS SOMETHING THAT'S
HARD TO NAIL DOWN, BUT IT REALLY
STRIKES A CHORD WITH A LOT OF
VERMONTERS ACROSS THE POLITICAL
SPECTRUM.
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOUR
PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEF IS OR
POLITICAL BELIEFS TOO.
EVERYONE CARES ABOUT
TRANSPARENCY, SO CAMPAIGN FOR
VERMONT HAS ACTUALLY MADE SOME
SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS ON
TRANSPARENCY RECENTLY.
LAST LEGISLATIVE SESSION, OUR --
WE HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE
ALONGSIDE SOME PROMINENT
INDEPENDENT VERMONTERS, BRUCE
LISMAN, TOM PELHAM, ALLEN
GILBERT OF THE ACLU, BILL
SHUBART, AND THEY CALLED ON THE
LEGISLATURE TO ENACT STRONG
ETHICS STANDARDS AND
TRANSPARENCY.
IT WAS NOT ADOPTED ACROSS -- TO
THE DEPTH THAT WE WOULD LIKE IT
TO HAVE BEEN.
HOWEVER, SPEAKER SMITH DID, TO
HIS CREDIT, COME AROUND MIDWAY
THROUGH THE SESSION AND HE
APPOINTED A GROUP TO LOOK AT
THAT.
LONG STORY SHORT, AT THE END OF
THE DAY, THEY PASSED A
RESOLUTION REQUIRING THAT
LEGISLATORS NEED TO DISCLOSE
THEIR EMPLOYERS AND ANY BOARDS
OR COMMISSIONS THAT THEY SIT ON
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SESSION.
IT'S A BABY STEP, BUT IT'S A
STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.


>> WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?


>> WE'RE GOING TO COME OUT OF
THE GATE PUSHING FOR EVEN MORE
TRANSPARENCY, STRONG ETHICS
STANDARDS FOR ALL LEGISLATORS
AND PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND THE
EXECUTIVE, SO THAT'S GOING TO BE
A BIG PUSH OF OURS.


>> AND ETHICS, IS THAT A KOEFD
ETHICS?
IS THAT A PLEDGE THAT A
LEGISLATOR WOULD SIGN?
THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT STUDENTS
WHO SIGN AN HONOR CODE, FOR
INSTANCE, GOING TO SCHOOL, WILL
ACTUALLY CHEAT LESS.
IS THAT THE KIND OF CONCEPT
BEHIND SOMETHING LIKE THAT?


>> IT IS.
SO RIGHT NOW, LET'S USE AN
EXAMPLE.
RIGHT NOW, IF I WAS A LEGISLATOR
AND I WAS IN CHARGE OF -- ON MY
COMMITTEE, OF REGULATING A
PARTICULAR INDUSTRY, I COULD PUT
IN A COUPLE YEARS AS A
LEGISLATOR, REGULATE THAT
INDUSTRY, AND POTENTIALLY NOT
HOLD THEM AS ACCOUNTABLE AS THEY
SHOULD BE.
I COULD THEN LEAVE, OVERNIGHT,
AND WORK AS A LOBBYIST FOR THAT
INDUSTRY, NO PROBLEM.
THERE'S NO REVOLVING DOOR
PROVISION AND THERE NEEDS TO BE.
WE'VE CALLED FOR A TWO-YEAR
WAITING PERIOD BEFORE A
LEGISLATOR CAN BECOME A
LOBBYIST.
THAT'S A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE OF AN
ETHICS STANDARD.


>> SHOULD THE OPPOSITE BE TRUE
AS WELL?
A WAITING PERIOD BEFORE, SAY, A
LOBBYIST COULD BECOME A
LEGISLATOR AS YOU'RE LIKELY
AWARE WITH THE PASSING OF
SENATOR SALLY FOX LAST YEAR, HER
HUSBAND BEING A LOBBYIST FILLED
IN THE SEAT.
IS THERE AN ISSUE GOING IN THE
OPPOSITE DIRECTION?


>> WELL, THE OTHER ISSUE AT PLAY
THERE WAS THAT WAS A
GUBERNATORIAL APPOINTMENT, SO HE
WASN'T ELECTED INTO THAT
POSITION, BUT WILL HAVE TO BE
RE-ELECTED.
IT'S NOT AS PRESSING OF AN
ISSUE.
IT'S IMPORTANT AND I THINK IT
RAISES SOME QUESTIONS, BUT
MOVING THE OTHER DIRECTION ISN'T
AS IMPORTANT, REALLY, BECAUSE OF
THE COMPENSATION DIFFERENTIAL.
THERE'S VERY LITTLE INCENTIVE TO
MAKE WHAT YOU DO AS A LOBBYIST
AND BECOME A LEGISLATOR.


>> WE'RE CHATTING TODAY WITH
CYRUS PATTEN.
HE'S THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF
CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT.
WHEN WE COME BACK, WE'LL CHAT
MORE ABOUT THE ISSUES CURRENTLY
FACING VERMONT AND THE ROLE THE
CAMPAIGN WILL


>>> WELCOME BACK "YOU CAN QUOTE
ME," CHATTING THIS WEEK WITH
CYRUS PATTEN, THE EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR OF CAMPAIGN FOR
VERMONT.
THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.


>> THANK YOU.


>> WE LEFT CHATTING ABOUT SOME
OF THE ISSUES FACING VERMONT,
BUT LET'S DRILL DOWN INTO
CURRENTLY, WHAT DO YOU SEE AS
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING
VERMONTERS?


>> SURE.
THE ONE THAT'S REALLY FLOATING
TO THE TOP FOR ME RIGHT NOW, IN
PART BECAUSE OF RECENT NEWS, IS
OUR BUDGET SITUATION.
EIGHT MONTHS AGO, TWO OF OUR
FOUNDERS, BRUCE LISMAN AND TOM
PELHAM, SAT AT THAT TABLE AND
TALKED ABOUT AN IMPENDING, I
BELIEVE THEY CALL IT AN ECONOMIC
TRAIN WRECK UPCOMING.
AND JUST YESTERDAY, WE SAW AN
ANNOUNCEMENT THAT THE 2015
REVENUE FORECAST NEEDED TO BE
ADJUSTED DOWN BY $31 MILLION, SO
THAT'S A $31 MILLION FLUCTUATION
IN WHAT THE STATE THOUGHT THEY
WERE GOING TO TAKE IN IN FISCAL
'15.
IT'S TRUE, BETTER TO FIND OUT
NOW THAN IN JANUARY, BUT THAT'S
AN IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT I THINK
VERMONTERS NEED TO BE AWARE
GLOOFR QUICKLY, THE
ADMINISTRATION WOULD SAY, LOOK,
WE HAD ESTIMATE ADD 5% HIKE,
WHICH IS PRETTY SUBSTANTIAL, AND
NOW IT'S 3%, WHICH, WHILE NOT AS
GOOD AS 5%, IS STILL GROWING
STRONG.
DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT
ASSESSMENT, AND IF NOT, WHY?


>> I AGREE THAT IN THE LARGE
SCHEME OF THINGS IN RELATION TO
THE WHOLE ENTIRETY OF THE STATE
BUDGET, $31 MILLION IS QUITE A
MINORITY.
$31 MILLION IS A BIG DEAL TO ME.
THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY TO ME.
AND WHAT THAT MEANS ON THE
GROUND -- BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR
ASKED EACH DEPARTMENT TO LOOK AT
AN AVERAGE 4% CUT ACROSS THE
BOARD --


>> SO THAT OTHER TAXES WOULDN'T
HAVE TO BE RAISED, RESERVED
WOULDN'T HAVE TO BE TAPPED.


>> RIGHT, WHICH I APPRECIATE
WE'RE NOT RAISING TAXES TO COVER
THAT OR TAPPING OUR RESERVES,
WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN ADDED TO IN
A WHILE.
WHEN WE MAKE A REACTIVE
ADJUSTMENT LIKE THIS WHERE WE
HAVE TO FIND IN SOMEWHAT OF AN
URGENT MANNER 4% TO CUT OFF THE
PROGRAM BUDGETS, WE'RE NOT
NECESSARILY ABLE TO MAKE A
THOUGHTFUL DECISION ABOUT WHERE
THE CUTS NEED TO BE.
THE GOVERNOR HAS PROMISED NO
LAYOFFS AND THAT MATTERS A LOT
TO THE PEOPLE WHO WOULD HAVE
BEEN LAID OFF, BUT IF WE HAD
ADOPTED MORE PRUDENT FISCAL
POLICY, IF WE HAD CONTROLLED OUR
SPENDING A LITTLE BIT, WE MAY
NOT BE -- THIS MAY NOT HURT AS
MUCH.
WE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN IN THE
SAME PREDICAMENT.
WE COULD HAVE PERHAPS ABSORBED
THIS WITH NOT AS MUCH OF AN
URGENT NEED FOR A SHIFT.


>> SO WHAT COULD CHANGE THAT IN
THE FUTURE?
ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THE BUDGET
PROCESS IN GENERAL DURING THE
LEGISLATIVE SESSION, WHICH GOES
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, BUT REALLY
BECOMES A SCRAMBLE TOWARD THE
END WHERE THE ENTIRE THING CAN
BE ALMOST REWRITTEN.


>> SURE.
THE RESULTS-BASED ACCOUNTABILITY
BILL THAT PASSED LAST YEAR IS A
GOOD START, IT'S A FOCUS TO
WHICH PROGRAMS ACTUALLY DELIVER
FOR VET VERMONTERS AND THAT'S A
REALLY IMPORTANT THIFT SHIFT IN THING
THAT WE'RE TRYING TO START WITH.
WE HAVE NOT BEEN GOOD AT LOOKING
AS WHICH PROGRAMS DELIVER THE
RESULTS WE'RE TRYING TO BUY.
WHICH THIS BILL, WE'LL HAVE
MORE INFORMATION TO WORK WITH
AND WE'LL HAVE A FIRM FOCUS ON
THAT, BUT IN MY EXPERIENCE, WHAT
REALLY MATTERS IS WHAT WE DO
WITH THAT INFORMATION.
WHAT DO WE DO WHEN WE FIND OUT
THAT A PROGRAM THE STATE IS
PAYING FOR IS NOT WORKING?
DO WE ASK THE RECIPIENT STHAF
MONEY
-- OF THAT MONEY, WHETHER IT'S
A STATE PROGRAM OR A NONPROFIT
CONTRACTOR OR WHOMEVER, DO WE
ASK THEM TO ADJUST THEIR PROGRAM
SO IT WORKS BETTER?
DO WE STOP FUNDING IT?
DO WE SCALE BACK FUNDING?
WHAT DO WE DO?
THAT'S WHAT WILL MAKE A
MEASURABLE DIFFERENCE IN THE
BUDGET PROCESS IN THE FUTURE IS
IF WE CAN GET -- CUT DOWN SOME
OF THE PROGRAMS THAT ARE NOT
DELIVERING VALUE FOR VERMONTERS,
AND ALSO BE A LITTLE BIT MORE
RESPONSIBLE ACROSS THE BOARD IN
TERMS OF BUILDING UP OUR
RESERVES, WE HAVE THIS TENDENCY
RECENTLY, IN RECENT YEARS, TO
KICK THE CAN DOWN THE ROAD ON A
NUMBER OF ISSUES.
GREAT EXAMPLE IS HEALTHCARE.
WE ARE NOT -- FIRST OF ALL, WE
DON'T KNOW WHAT OPTIONS ARE IN
FRONT OF THE GOVERNOR AND OTHERS
IN TERMS OF HOW WE'RE GOING TO
RAISE THE MONEY TO FUND THAT.
BUT WE ALSO HAVE -- THERE'S BEEN
THIS STYLE OF "TRUST US, WE'LL
FIGURE IT OUT," OR "WE'LL BORROW
THE MONEY THIS YEAR AND WORK IT
OUT NEXT YEAR."
YOU CAN'T DO THAT FOREVER.


>> GRANTED THAT SINGLE PAYOR AS
DIFFERENT ISSUE, BUT WITH THE
EXCHANGE AND THE ROLLOUT IN
OCTOBER, DID VERMONTERS HAVE
MUCH CHOICE OTHER THAN TO TRUST
THE ADMINISTRATION BOTH AT THE
STATE LEVEL AND FEDERALLY, GIVEN
THAT THE EXCHANGE WAS COMING,
WHETHER WE LIKED IT OR NOT?


>> I THINK WE WERE TOLD TO TRUST
WHAT WAS HAPPENING BEHIND CLOSED
DOORS AS OPPOSED TO OPENING UP
THE PROCESS AND LETTING
VERMONTERS DECIDE HOW THEY FELT
THINGS WERE GOING.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE SPENT
$72 MILLION ON A WEBSITE THAT
DOESN'T WORK.
PEOPLE ARE UNABLE TO ACCESS THE
SYSTEM TO MAKE CHANGES.
IT'S STILL VERY HARD TO EVEN
ENROLL FOR HEALTHCARE.
SO AT THE END OF THE DAY, WE
DON'T HAVE A PRODUCT AND THIS IS
EXACTLY WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT
WITH THE PROGRAMS THAT DON'T
WORK.
WE DON'T HAVE A PRODUCT THAT IS
WORTH $72 MILLION, AND IT'S --
JUST YESTERDAY AGAIN, WE
ANNOUNCED APPROVAL OF ANOTHER
$600,000 TO HELP HUMAN SERVICES
UPDATE THEIR SOFTWARE SYSTEM AND
TO HIGHER THE TEMPORARY STAFF TO
FACILITATE THAT PROCESS.
ON TOP OF AN RFP THAT'S PROBABLY
GOING TO COST TENS OF MILLIONS
OF DOLLARS TO ROLL IT OUT.
I AM WORRIED ABOUT THE STATE'S
ABILITY TO MANAGE COMPLEX TECH
PROJECTS AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR
VERMONTERS.


>> THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF
QUESTIONS LATELY ABOUT HOW WELL
THE STATE IS HANDLING CHILD
PROTECTIVE SERVICES.
SEVERAL OP-EDS OVER THE LAST FEW
MONTHS FROM CAMPAIGN FOR
VERMONT.
WHAT'S THE TAKE FROM THE
CAMPAIGN'S PERSPECTIVE ON CHILD
PROTECTIVE SERVICES, THE STATE
OF PLAY, IF SOCIAL WORKERS
DESERVE ANY OF THE BLAME OR IF
THIS MIGHT BE MORE OF AN
INSTITUTIONAL PROBLEM?


>> BLAMING A SOCIAL WORKER FOR
THE -- FOR SOME OF THE RECENT
OUTCOMES IS LIKE BLAMING A FISH
FOR CHOKING IN POLL LUTED WATER.
IT -- POLLUTED WATER.
IT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE TO
BLAME THE PEOPLE ON THE FRONT
LINES WHO ARE EXPECTED TO
DELIVER OUTCOMES WHO CAN'T BE
DELIVERED IN A BROKEN SYSTEM.
AGAIN, I WOULD POINT OUT TO THE
NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY IN THAT
SYSTEM.
WE NEED TO OPEN UP THE DOORS,
SHOW VERMONTERS WHAT THAT
SYSTEMS REALLY LIKE AND WHAT
KIND OF OUTCOMES WE'RE GETTING
FOR WHAT WE'RE PAYING.
THE COMMISSIONER OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND
FAMILIES, IT WAS REPORTED
YESTERDAY THAT HE WAS SAYING
THESE ADDITIONAL SOCIAL WORKERS
THAT WE'VE APPROVED FOR THE
SYSTEM AS TURN KNICK GET AND NOT
A -- TOURNIQUET AND NOT A
SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION AND I
AGREE.
IT'S A SHORT-TERM SOLUTION THAT
WILL RELIEVE A LITTLE BIT OF
IMMEDIATE PRESSURE, BUT WHAT WE
REALLY NEED TO DO IS TURN THAT
AGENCY UPSIDE DOWN AND OPEN UP
THE DOORS AND LET PEOPLE SEE
WHAT IS WORKING IN THERE AND
WHAT'S NOT WORKING.
I ALSO THINK THERE'S A ROLE FOR
SOME ADDED ACCOUNTABILITY IN
THAT SYSTEM.
IT'S -- WE HAVE KIND OF TRUDGED
FORWARD WITH IDEAS THAT HAVE NOT
PANNED OUT FOR VERMONTERS, AND
THERE REALLY ISN'T ANY FEEDBACK
LOOP OR, YOU KNOW, CIRCLE BACK
TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING
THOSE DECISIONS AND THE POLICY
DECISIONS THAT ARE MAKING THE
JOBS HARDER FOR SOCIAL WORKERS.


>> CAN TRANSPARENCY BE TOUGH,
THOUGH, WITH BOTH HEALTHCARE AND
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES, GIVEN
THAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH
SENSITIVE INFORMATION?
AND WE'VE HEARD ABOUT PRIVACY
BREACHES WITH HEALTH CONNECT.
THAT BEING SAID, WHEN YOU LOOK
AT SOME OF THOSE BREACHES, MOST
OF THEM ARE FAIRLY TECHNICAL AND
THAT ONE CARRIER SAW SOME
MEDICAL INFORMATION OF ANOTHER
CARRIER'S THAT THEY REALLY
WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO SEE, BUT NO
REAL HARM MAY HAVE COME FROM
THAT.
THEY'RE VERY MUCH BASED ON SOME
OF THE PRIVACY LAWS WE HAVE.
HOW DOES TRANSPARENCY OVERLAP
WITH SOME OF THE PRIVACY LAWS IN
THESE SENSITIVE AREAS?


>> IT'S A GOOD THING TO PAY
ATTENTION TO BECAUSE WE DON'T
WANT TO BE PUTTING PRIVATE
PERSONAL INFORMATION OUT THERE.
AGAIN, CONSIDERING HUMAN
SERVICES, WHICH OVERSEES
HEALTHCARE AND CHILD PROTECTION
UNDER THE SAME UMBRELLA, WE
SHOULDN'T BE SHARING PRIVATE
INFORMATION.
HOWEVER, IF A SOCIAL WORKER THAT
WORKS FOR THE STATE ON THE FRONT
LINES IS NOT ALLOWED TO BLOW A
WHISTLE ON SOMETHING THEY'RE
SEEING ON A POLICY THAT'S NOT
PANNING OUT FOR KIDS, IF THEY'RE
NOT ALLOWED TO SHARE WITH ANYONE
OUTSIDE OF THE AGENCY THAT, YOU
KNOW, THERE'S SOME CHANGES WE
SHOULD MAKE, AND HERE ARE MY
RECOMMENDATIONS, THAT'S A
PROBLEM.
THAT'S -- THAT IS NOT A WAY TO
RUN ONE OF OUR VERY MOST
IMPORTANT STATE AGENCIES.
WE NEED TO ALLOW AN OPEN
CONVERSATION ABOUT THE SYSTEM
LEVEL CHANGES THAT NEED TO
HAPPEN, THE POLICIES THAT NEED
TO HAPPEN.
I DON'T NEED TO KNOW IF MY
NEIGHBOR IS INVOLVED WITH THE
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND
FAMILIES, THAT'S NOT THE KIND OF
INFORMATION WE NEED TO KNOW.
WE DO NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY KIDS
IS THE STATE RESPONSIBLE FOR AND
ON WHAT LEVELS AND WHAT HAPPENS
TO THOSE KIDS AS THEY MOVE
THROUGH OUR SYSTEM?
THAT INFORMATION IS NOT
AVAILABLE.


>> WE'VE GOT AN ELECTION COMING
UP IN NOVEMBER, PRIMARIES BEFORE
THAT.
YOU ARE PART OF A NONPARTISAN
ORGANIZATION.
I TAKE IT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE
ENDORSING ANY CANDIDATES MOVING
FORWARD.


>> ABSOLUTELY NOT, AND WE WERE
SET UP WITH THAT PURPOSE.
WE ARE NOT -- WE DON'T ENGAGE
WITH CANDIDATES OR PARTIES ON --
YOU KNOW, IN THEIR CAMPAIGNS.
DIE NEAT WITH CANDIDATES AS --
DIE MEET WITH CANDIDATES AS THEY
REQUEST HELP LOOKING AT
POLICIES.
WE'VE RESEARCHED POLICY YEAR
ROUND AND WE HAVE SOME VERY WELL
DEVELOPED POLICIESES AND I'VE
MET WITH A NUMBER OF CANDIDATES
ALL OVER THE STATE WHO WANT TO
KNOW, WHAT DO WE NEED TO DO IN
VERMONT, WHAT'S REALLY RESONANT?
WHEN WE WERE SET UP IN 2011, THE
INFORMATION THAT OUR FOUNDERS
COLLECTED FROM ALL OVER THE
STATE CAME TOGETHER INTO THESE
POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS, SO WE
HAVE A DIRECT LINE TO VERMONTERS
WHO ARE STILL TO THIS DAY REACH
OUT TO US AND SHARING THEIR
OPINIONS BECAUSE THERE'S NOT
REALLY ANOTHER SAFE PLACE FOR
THEM TO GO AND THEY'RE SICK OF
PARTY POLITICS, THEY'RE SICK OF
THE PARTISANSHIP PIECE, AND A
LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LEAVING THE
EXTREMES ON EITHER PARTY AND
COMING TO THE MIDDLE AND FINDING
US THERE AND FINDING A PLACE
WHERE THEY CAN SHARE IDEAS THAT,
EVEN DISSENTING IDEAS, THAT ARE,
YOU KNOW, JUST BASED IN COMMON
SENSE AND THAT'S THE ROLE WE'RE
GOING TO PLAY IN THE ELECTION.
WE'RE GOING TO FACILITATE
CONVERSATIONS, WE'RE GOING TO
OFFER INFORMATION, AND LET THE
CHIPS FALL WHERE THEY MAY.


>> SO WHEN YOU'RE HAVING THESE
PEOPLE COME AND CHAT WITH YOU,
I'M GUESSING YOU'RE NOT GOING TO
SHARE ANY NAMES WHO MAY HAVE
BEEN INVOLVED THERE, BUT HAS THE
FOCUS BEEN ON THE ECONOMY, ON
SCHOOLS?
IS THERE ONE AREA IN PARTICULAR
WHERE YOU'RE SEEING THE MOST
INTEREST FROM LEGISLATORS?


>> WELL, THERE'S SOME
CANDIDATES, I'M HEARING INTEREST
IN LEARNING ABOUT ISSUES ACROSS
THE SPECTRUM.
A LOT OF THEM RELATE TO THE
ECONOMY AND THE STATE BUDGET.
I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE
CONCERNED WITH HOW THOSE TWO
PIECES ARE WORKING IN VERMONT
RIGHT NOW.
I MEET WITH LEGISLATORS TOO, AS
THEY ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING
MORE ABOUT OUR POSITIONS, BUT
ALSO ABOUT ISSUES, AND THEY -- I
SUPPOSE THEY'RE OFFERING THE
SAME QUESTIONS TOO, ABOUT THE
ECONOMY AND ABOUT OUR STATE
BUDGET, WHAT THEY CAN DO TO MAKE
GOVERNMENT MORE TRANSPARENT AND
MORE ACCOUNTABLE.
WE'VE GOT A VERY ENGAGED NETWORK
AND, YOU KNOW, I'M APPRECIATIVE
OF THE WORK THAT WAS DONE BEFORE
ME.
IT WAS -- IT MADE MY JOB VERY
EASY BECAUSE WE'VE GOT A VERY
STRONG NETWORK OF VERMONTERS
ACROSS THE STATE WHO ARE
INTERESTED IN SEEING A BETTER
VERMONT AND SEEING SOME SOLID
SOLUTIONS COME OUT.


>> PRIOR TO THE FILING DEADLINE,
THERE WERE RUMORS THAN WOULD OF
YOUR FOUNDERS, BRUCE LISMAN,
MIGHT THROW HIS HAT INTO THE
RING TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR.
WAS THAT A REAL POSSIBILITY AND
HOW WOULD THAT HAVE AFFECTEDth
CAMPAIGN FOR VERMONT HAD HE
CHOSEN THAT ROUTE?


>> HE DEBATED THAT BECAUSE
PEOPLE WERE CALLING ON HIM AFTER
THE WORK HE DID, PEOPLE ARE
SAYING YOU NEED TO RUN, YOU NEED
TO HAVE -- WE NEED TO HAVE
ANOTHER DISCUSSION.
I THINK I WOULD -- I WOULD OFFER
THAT THE DISCUSSION HAS FOCUSED
AROUND WHETHER OR NOT BRUCE WAS
RUNNING, HOW HE WOULD RUN, WHAT
ISSUES HE WOULD RUN ON AND WHAT
THAT WOULD DO TO THE CAMPAIGN
BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE REALLY
UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA THAT
WE MAY NOT BE REPUBLICAN OR
DEMOCRAT.


>> THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING
ME.
CYRUS PATTEN, CAMPAIGN FOR
VERMONT, AND THANKS FOR JOINING
US AT HOME.
HAVE A GREAT DAY.
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