I voted for Christine Hallquist last week based on 16 years of experience working in the statehouse. During those 16 years, I’ve worked with three governors: ten years of Republicans and six years of Democrats. The last two years working with the Scott administration were the least productive and most acrimonious.
Regardless of political parties, the legislature often does not agree with the Governor, and that’s a good thing. We do our most thorough work when we have to address concerns from the “opposition”. That’s not only good, that’s how it should be.
And so it was that Governors Douglas and Shumlin usually had staffers in my committees to keep tabs on what was going on. On a regular basis with both administrations, the Chair and other Senators would be approached with the administration’s concerns as they occurred, and conversations/discussion would ensue between the Senate and the administration. This was not all “buddy buddy”; we had serious differences.
Sometimes we managed to figure out some common ground, sometimes not, but the debates were timely and usually productive. We got things done, with neither party getting all they wanted.
The past two years have been very different. I often did not see the administration’s people in my committees, and I often didn’t know until I read it online that the Governor had proposed something new and very different than what we were doing. This frequently occurred just before we were ready to finish up on an issue and near the end of session. It served no purpose other than newspaper headlines.
I voted for Christine because I want progress for Vermonters. I want Vermont to be a place that young families choose when they think about jobs and families and education. I don’t agree completely with all of her positions, but I know she will surround herself with the best folks in Vermont and will work for forward progress for all Vermonters.
Editor’s Note: Senator Claire Ayer (D-Addison) announced in May that she did not plan to seek re-election in the Nov. 6 election.