Vermont Taxpayers Foot the Bill for Vice President Mike Pence’s Vacation

By BENJAMIN GLASS

Over Labor Day weekend, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Second Lady Karen Pence, were photographed at a “creemee” stand in Sudbury, Vermont, 20 miles southwest of Middlebury. The couple spent three days in Vermont on an impromptu vacation at Lake Hortonia in Hubbardton. In the photograph, the two wear shorts and T-shirts and hold soft-serve ice creams outside in the soft yellow light of late summer.

Now, the bill. The Vermont Department of Public Safety (DPS) has released running estimates of the cost of the Pences’ visit. According to coverage from VTDigger, The DPS estimates $106,825 in payroll costs, a number that continues to grow as the office accounts for more expenses. The hefty weekend costs derive from the efforts of the Vermont State Police, who worked closely with federal security during the visit. Public Information Officer of the Vermont State Police Adam Silverman spoke to The Campus last week about the state’s responsibility for security during executive visits.

“Generally speaking, the logistics of a visit to Vermont by a head of state are complicated and require extensive planning and coordination among multiple federal, state and local law-enforcement agencies,” Silverman said. “The Vermont State Police was heavily involved in the vice president’s visit to Vermont.” 

Sudbury Shoppe Facebook
Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence enjoy creemees.

Although the federal government relies on state police for assistance, the state may not be responsible for the associated costs. But, in an interview with VTDigger, Silverman said that “there would not be reimbursement” from the federal level, which means costs would fall to Vermont taxpayers.  

Although the costs are continuing to roll in, and much of the sum may fall to state taxpayers for payment, Pence’s visit was memorable and important for many Vermont residents, including the owners of The Sudbury Shoppe, where Mike and Karen Pence were photographed with their creemees.

“We had a nice visit with him and his wife, as did our customers,” said the shop owners last week. The Sudbury Shoppe posted a photo of  the Pences on their Facebook page on Sept. 2, captioned, “I had the privilege of serving them their first and only VT Maple Creemee, thank you Mr. & Mrs. Vice President.”

More information on the cost of the Pences’ visit may be available in the coming months through the Department of Public Records.

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