5-22-14 – A Tale of Two (Capital) Cities: Survey says Montpelier gets an F for 2014

Posted by Rob Roper

It was the best of times, if you are a self congratulatory politician living in a bubble. It was the worst of times, if you are a hard working employer trying to make a living in Vermont.

Vermont Business Magazine is running a Quick Poll on their website asking Vermonters the following question:

The Legislature has completed its work for this biennium. What overall grade would you give the Vermont Legislature? A, B, C, D, F or OTHER.

Recent news stories have highlighted Governor Shumlin as touting the 2014Quick Poll session as “one of the most successful sessions in recent memory.” House Speaker Shap Smith took it one adjective further calling the session, “One of the most successful and productive in recent memory.”

However, it appears that others are less impressed with a new law banning the use of hand held devices while driving, and requiring producers of GMO foods to label them as such (assuming against hope that we win a lawsuit nobody thinks we’ll win) while sources for funding the $2.2 billion needed for  single-payer healthcare remains purposefully hidden from the public and the $1.5 billion system for funding our education system remains broken and substantively ignored.

In sharp contrast to politicians, those taking the Vermontbiz Quick Poll (as of this writing; the poll is still up at https://www.vermontbiz.com/ if you’d like to take it), 33.54% give the legislature an F. 21.34% give them a D, 21.95% give them a gentleman’s C, 11.59% give them a B, and only 10.37% give them an A.

When 55% of the business community gives you an F or a D for the work you just did, it hardly seems like a time for self-congratulatory accolades. Of course, this is all very subjective, and if you look at the legislature’s record over recent memory, maybe this is as productive and successful as it gets.

–  Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marion Clegg May 26, 2014 at 5:21 pm

What do you expect? They certainly aren’t going to say they did a terrible job. (Referring to Shape Smith’s statement.) If we don’t get some more conservative thinking legislators in Montpelier AND Washington we will no longer be the great nation we had been nor be able to agree with Calvin Coolidge’s speech he made on how much he loved Vermont. Sorry, sir, but Vermont isn’t what it use to be and it won’t be unless we start getting serious about the positions held in our government, federal, state and local! Let’s see your actions ~ not just hear your words.

Reply

Robert Lefebvre May 26, 2014 at 5:55 pm

Rob is fairly accurate by mentioning recent memory. I would say that it sound like they had a somewhat busy session, but positively productive is not what I would call it. I see this State going from freedom back in the ’50s to more of a dictatorship from ’70s to today. I feel that we, and businesses, are getting more controlled at the state level than by the federal. No wonder that businesses are moving out which causes our children to have to move in order to find work and so on.

I feel that this whole country is moving in the wrong direction. I realize that some peoples enjoy being first, but first just to be first is not what I consider a good goal and it can be costly. Spending more than we take in spell chaos. I don’t think that I need to enumerate the negatives. We’ve gone too far from what this state and country was founded on. Bob Lefebvre

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Peg May 29, 2014 at 6:22 pm

In the fall of 2010 in a public forum, I asked Peter Shumlin to explain his 0 – ZERO rating by the NFIB. He puffed himself up and proudly stated, “If I got a ZERO rating it means I am doing what Vermont wants me to.” (VT Digger did the followup article and also had the audio).
Well Peter you have nearly succeeded in putting VT at #50 as the most unfriendly state to do business with. Are we now at 48? What happens when we reach the bottom?

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