Daily Archives: September 1, 2022

Sorry About That, Struggling Vermonters

I’ve got a post sitting on the backburner called “We Have No Idea How Well State Government Performs.” The thesis is that Vermont’s government is woefully deficient in checks and balances. The Legislature is too slammed to do any green eyeshade stuff. The executive branch provides the bulk of the available information. The Joint Fiscal Office does some useful things and so does the auditor, but their reach is limited.

So we’ll probably never know who’s responsible for the monumental screwup with the Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP). It’s out of money, folks. Rental assistance will diminish in a month and disappear entirely for thousands of households before the onset of winter. Oh, and utility assistance will end before the calendar turns to 2023.

According to the administration’s own numbers, 3,015 recipients will see their rental benefits end on September 30. Another 5,400 will get reduced benefits through the end of November, and then nothing.

The explanations on offer are threadbare, sheepish and inadequate. There are broad hints of administrative malfeasance.

This ought to be a scandal. Will it be? Based on past performance, probably not.

Continue reading

Phil Scott Promises the Blandest Campaign In Living Memory

Hey, in case you were waiting for Gov. Phil Scot to let us all know how he would lead the state through perilous times, I’ve got some bad news for you.

That’s right, friends and neighbors, Phil Scott will have no truck with your pesky “issues.” He’ll be busy… [checks thread]… highlighting a foodbank fundraiser, celebrating a pair of blueberry farmers, remembering an early Black ballplayer, retweeting WPTZ’s list of fun things to do in Georgia, and spotlighting Seven Days‘ cover stories about Route 100. He closes that Cavalcade of Oatmeal with this:

While we have so much work to do in Montpelier to help make Vermont an even better place to live, work, and raise a family, we can’t lose sight of all the good that happens every day because of you, the Vermonters, who show up to take care of one another.

Please don’t ask for details about how he’s going to “make Vermont an even better place,” because that would be indulging in “the negativity of election season.”

Christ on a bicycle, how condescending can one man get? Phil Scott aims to find out, apparently.

Continue reading