From "Lawmakers question timing of hotel-motel program fundraiser" by Stephen Biddix, NBC5 WPTZ, May 25, 2023
With less than a week to go until phase 1 of the hotel-motel program begins its first rollback, The Vermont Democratic Party started a fundraiser to "fight back" against the Scott administration, saying they've failed to address the struggles of vulnerable communities.
However, lawmakers are questioning the timing and intent because the Vermont legislature is controlled by democrats, and some say if they really had people’s best interest in mind, the funding would have been included in the budget to begin with.
Multiple progressive and democratic lawmakers took to social media to express their opinions on the fundraiser, saying there were clear options to create a more humane transition process.
Other legislators said it is unfair of the Vermont Democratic Party to place the blame solely on the Scott administration when both sides of the aisle played a role.
The fundraiser also used wording such as “deliberately screwed up” and that Scott is “blocking” immediate action. One representative expressed her frustrations with the fundraiser and said at the end of the day, all of this could have been prevented.
"I was pretty appalled," said Rep. Emma Mulvaney-Stanak. "I think that was pretty heartless to be trying to fundraise and point the fault in one direction. What should be really happening right now is legislative leaders sitting down saying 'We’re going to figure out a solution'... and prioritize Vermonters and not fundraising for a pollical party," she said.
In response to the wording used by the Vermont Democratic Party, the Scott administration said in part, "It is very unfortunate that the state democratic party has increasingly resorted to the desperate, D.C. style attack playbook that continues to tear our nation apart. One of the many reasons Vermonters continue to overwhelmingly support and vote for governor Scott is because he refuses to engage in such tactics.”
NBC5 did reach out multiple times to the Vermont Democratic Party for a response but never heard anything back.
The governor is expected to address what his administration is doing to help the thousands of Vermonters transition out of the program at a Friday news conference.