Gov. Scott’s Press Conference 7/17/23

Innkeepers are a busy bunch. To save you time, VLA attends Governor Scott’s press conferences and takes notes for you. Below is the summary from 7/17/23.

This afternoon, Governor Phil Scott and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg gave a brief press conference at the Agency of Transportation Dill Building Garage in Berlin. Unfortunately, due to technical issues, much of the feed was disrupted, but the majority of the event is covered in the notes below.


  • Governor Phil Scott:
    • Thanks administrators, emergency officials. Praises resiliency of Vermonters….
    • Seeing volunteers working together, businesses helping out.
    • Know Vermonters are hurting – my team and I will make sure that you have the resources that we need.
    • I know Vermonters will be Vermont strong and tough and continue to step up.
  • Sec. Pete Buttigieg
    • Thanks Gov Scott for leadership – no doubt that the state will recover and be stronger than over
    • Thank all of state and local leaders for joining us here. Most important, thanks to the first responders…
    • Most important is the readiness that I’ve seen to step up. I’ve seen cooperation across various lines that can sometimes get in the way of getting good work done.
    • Last week President Biden approved Federal major disaster declaration – as VT moves to recovery we stand ready to assist in any way we can. When Vermont puts in request for emergency DOT funds, we’ll do everything that we can to get it here quickly.
    • $180 million in relief funds for Irene – will do everything that we can this time.
    • Important to note that Vermont has endured once-in-a-century event in 12 years. Americans are seeing the results of climate change with our own eyes and are dealing with the consequences, so as elected leaders, our most important duty has to be the safety and security of the people we serve, including when it comes to climate resilience, and in terms of transportation, that means making sure that our infrastructure is built to withstand the extreme weather that’s happening more and more often and showing itself to be more and more extreme.
    • Just a couple of months ago, through President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, we’ve been able to open applications for the first round of a new program designed to make our highways, transit, ports, and rail systems more resilient in the face of extreme weather called the Protect Program. Application for that window closes on August 18 so I want to encourage any local governments, tribal governments, state DOTs – certainly I expect this region to produce competitive applications…
    • When we get to the point of (USDA) distributing funding to Vermont, how would the Department make sure that it’s distributed equitably?
      • Buttigieg – With emergency relief funding, there are two layers to it – quick release, which is to get dollars out quickly, then there is the reimbursable basis for the longer run and that is based on the request that comes in from the state – and I know that this is a state that’s paying a lot of attention to making sure different communities are served well. The governor was pointing out the economic hardship that a lot of the communities we saw have already been through. We were looking at how areas like Hardwick are trying to use tourism and recreation to build an economy that’s been through a lot. Obviously, our administration cares deeply about equity as well, and sometimes that means racial equity. Sometimes that means making sure rural areas or economically underserved areas are being taken care of. Generally, as we look at the different applications coming in to all of our programs and we’re really proud of the record we are building up of making sure that underserved and overburdened communities see at least their fair share of the funds.
    • How will you coordinate with some really small communities that maybe only have one or two people actually working for the municipality? Who don’t have resources?
      • Buttigieg – I’ll hand it off, but will mention two things – it’s very important to be user friendly for smaller communities… and want to acknowledge the work of our team on the ground – we have federal highway personnel who are based here …