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Policy Solutions to Move Vermont Forward

September 6, 2016

Sarah Lyons

Public Assets Proposes Policy Solutions to Move Vermont Forward

MONTPELIER – With a major turnover in political leadership in Montpelier this January, the new administration and Legislature should zero in on three fundamental initiatives to move the state forward:

• Ensure that work pays and all Vermont families can meet their basic needs.
• Make smart, evidence-based investments in programs and infrastructure.
• Restore public confidence in state government by improving and promoting good governance, including efficacy, fairness, and transparency.

Those are the recommendations contained in A Framework for Progress: Investing in Vermont’s people, infrastructure, and good government, a report released today by Public Assets Institute in Montpelier.

“Vermont needs to take charge of its future again,” said Paul Cillo, president and executive director of Public Assets. “Our leaders need to bring energy and a sense of purpose to making Vermont a state that works for everybody. We can’t afford not to invest; the economy won’t get stronger on its own.

“There are limits to the private sector’s ability to provide essential public services. The federal government recently announced it was reducing reliance on private prisons because of the cost and problems with the quality of the services. And we’ve all heard the uproar over EpiPen price increases. Government still has a big role and responsibility in improving Vermonters’ lives. For instance, the report recommends that the minimum wage be high enough to support a family, and that affordable, high-quality child care is available to all who need it.

“Elected officials also need to make smart investments that benefit all the state’s residents. And policymakers can rebuild Vermonters’ faith in their government by restoring its capacity to do its job.”

Public Assets Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Montpelier that believes Vermont should be a state where all communities thrive and the economy works for everyone. Toward that goal, it conducts research and analysis on state tax, budget, and economic policies.

The recommendations in A Framework for Progress are offered to further the public debate this fall and into the next legislative session. They focus on actions elected officials can take now to deploy public resources more effectively to serve the common good. The list is neither comprehensive nor exclusive. But these policy changes would provide a solid foundation for restoring our infrastructure, bettering the lives of low- and moderate-income Vermonters, and improving the policymaking process itself.

A Framework for Progress is a companion document to Public Assets’ State of Working Vermont report, released in December, which provides the data and analysis behind these recommendations.

Public Assets Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sound state budget and tax policies that benefit all Vermonters. More information at

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