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Douglas Gives Inaugural Address - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Douglas Gives Inaugural Address

Montpelier, Vermont - January 4, 2007

Governor Douglas walked into the statehouse for his third term as Governor. He faces a strong democratic majority in both the House and Senate and says the first goal is to work together.

"Vermonters are not interested in partisan intrigue but are interested in results," he said.

The Governor then laid out a new initiative dubbed the Vermont Way Forward.  He wants Vermont to become a world leader in solving climate change while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Douglas proposed lowering the purchase-and-use tax on hybrid vehicles or ones that get 30 miles per gallon or better.

He also wants to promote the use of bio-fuels by reducing the state vehicle fuels tax and by offering a tax incentive to people who use bio-fuels to heat their homes.

"By attacking the prime drivers of greenhouse gas emissions and redoubling our pledge to use renewable energy resources, Vermont will do even more to strengthen its position as a world leader in the environmental sciences."

Another cornerstone -- creating Robert Stafford Schools for high school students to focus on Math, Science and Technology.  The goal is to create the next generation of environmental engineers.

The biggest new initiative may have to with broadband. Governor Douglas wants to create the Vermont Technology Authority that would invest $40 million to create a statewide fiber optic network.

"In my hand there is wireless mobility, complete access and clear connections. In my hand is fairness and equity for all of Vermont. In my hand is both freedom and unity."

Douglas proposed that by becoming an e-state.  It would help businesses, the health care system and improve the education of young Vermonters and pledged to make it happen all within three years.

"In three years, this phone will be capable of downloading email, images and video at speeds faster than most home broadband today. It will allow Vermonters to work from anywhere, anytime, unimpeded by spotty coverage, bad connections and the constant aggravation of dropped calls."

Governor Douglas also took time to honor Robert Stafford who passed away less then two weeks ago. Douglas says the state can learn a lot from how Stafford led as a Governor.

Kristin Carlson - Channel 3 News

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