Daily Archives: November 3, 2021

Embarrassment Plus Compassion Equals Policy Shift

We’ll take a couple thousand of these, thanks

“It hasn’t changed my thinking,” said Gov. Phil Scott at his Tuesday briefing. The subject was the state’s emergency housing program. Immediately after he said that, he went on to make it pretty dang clear that his thinking has changed and is continuing to change.

For that, a lot of credit goes to the intrepid band of advocates (including Tweeters-In-Chief Josh Lisenby and Brenda Siegel) camped out on the portico of the Statehouse. The needle has definitely moved since their protest began almost three weeks ago. The conversation has shifted from “We need to end the program soon” to “We’ll keep it running a while longer” to “We want to avoid throwing anyone out on the street, if only because the optics would be bad.”

(That last bit is the quiet part out loud.)

This isn’t enough for the advocates, who continue their stakeout. But it’s substantial movement nonetheless.

At this point, Scott doesn’t really have a position. Until now, he was dead set on ending the program at a date certain. The date kept shifting backwards, but there was always an end in sight. Now, it’s not clear that there is. The governor sure avoided any talk of a deadline at the Tuesday presser.

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