Governor Shumlin has addressed the legislature to outline his agenda for Vermont five times. Take a look back at what Governor Shumlin delivered to make Vermont an even greater state.


2015: Historic Laws on Education, Energy & Clean Water

In his third Inaugural Address and Budget Address, Governor Shumlin outlined a two-part agenda for progress to double down on renewable energy and address long-neglected issues like cleaning up Lake Champlain and right-sizing Vermont’s education system. By the end of the session, a number of once-in-a-generation bills were enacted.

  • Established a clean energy law that doubles down on renewable energy, creates 1,000 new jobs, saves Vermonters $390 million on energy costs, and helps combat climate change.
  • Signed the most comprehensive clean water legislation in Vermont’s history.
  • Established a partnership with communities around the state to enhance Vermont’s education system and address rising property taxes.
  • Signed an economic development law to increase access to capital for startup businesses, expand proven job-growth incentives, and encourage job seekers to come to Vermont.
  • Signed the fifth balanced budget without raising income, sales, or rooms and meals taxes on hard-working Vermonters.

2014: Confronting Vermont’s Opiate Crisis, Raising the Wage, Pre-K & GMO Labeling

Governor Shumlin changed the national conversation about opiate and heroin addiction by dedicating his entire State of the State Address to the issue. The Governor called for a renewed focus on treating addiction like the health care crisis that it is, rather than relying solely on law enforcement to solve the problem. At the end of a busy session, the Governor signed significant new legislation to combat opiate addiction as well as other measures to move Vermont forward. 

  • Increased funding for opiate addiction treatment to get more Vermonters into recovery.
  • Created a new statewide pre-trial services program to help non-violent offenders suffering from opiate addiction get into treatment and recovery rather than jail and relapse.
  • Expanded access to the opiate overdose reversing drug Naloxone.
  • Provided judges with the option of tougher sentencing of individuals transporting drugs into Vermont.
  • Instituted a minimum wage increase to raise the minimum wage to $10.50 by 2018.
  • Signed a first-in-the-nation GMO labeling law to ensure Vermonters have the right to know what is in their food.
  • Made Vermont the first state in America to extend universal pre-k to all 3-and 4-year-olds.
  • Signed the fourth balanced budget without raising income, sales, or rooms and meals taxes on hard-working Vermonters.

2013: Enhancing Vermont's Education System

Governor Shumlin focused his second Inaugural Address on enhancing Vermont’s education system, saying the state needed to do a better job preparing young Vermonters for the 21st century jobs being created by Vermont businesses and entrepreneurs. The Governor called on the legislature to help him “take a good education system in Vermont and make it the best.” At the end of the session, progress had been made from pre-k to higher education.

  • Helped local communities launch or expand pre-k programs.
  • Made school lunches available to all low-income Vermont students.
  • Expanded early college programs to help more Vermont kids earn college credit for free while still in high school.
  • Established personalized learning plans for all Vermont kids to help prepare them for careers after school.
  • Eliminated criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
  • Established driver privilege cards to help migrant workers living in Vermont.
  • Enacted legislation allowing terminally ill patients to make end-of-life choices.
  • Signed the third balanced budget without raising income, sales, or rooms and meals taxes on hard-working Vermonters.

2012: Rebuilding Vermont Stronger than Irene Found it

Following the response to Tropical Storm Irene, Governor Shumlin used his State of the State Address to leverage the same courage, strength, and ingenuity to address the pressing need of growing jobs and prosperity for all Vermonters. By the end of the session, the Governor and legislature had enacted a plan to help make Vermont even stronger than when Irene found it. 

  • Made the largest investment in Vermont history to rebuild the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. 
  • Strengthened Vermont’s mental health system, shifting care from an obsolete institution-based system to a more individual-focused, community-based focus.
  • Established a downtown tax credit program to help restore businesses damaged in Irene.
  • Signed legislation to expand clean, renewable energy sources across the state. 
  • Made the Department of Education an official state agency, with the Secretary of Education appointed by the governor.
  • Established a Working Landscapes program to promote Vermont’s working farms and forests and boost the growing value-added agricultural sector.
  • Signed the second balanced budget without raising income, sales, or rooms and meals taxes on hard-working Vermonters.

2011: An Ambitious Agenda to Get Tough Things Done

In his first Inaugural Address to the legislature, Governor Shumlin laid out one of the most ambitious agendas in memory, committing to working every day to make the lives of Vermonters more economically secure. At the end of the session, the Governor had laid the groundwork to deliver on his agenda.

  • Set Vermont on the path to expanding broadband internet access to every corner of the state.
  • Created the Green Mountain Care Board to help regulate and control health care costs.
  • Helped expand pre-k enrollment statewide.
  • Invested in job creation and workforce development. 
  • Committed to encouraging a renaissance in Vermont agriculture. 
  • Invested in renewable energy, expanded Vermont’s net metering program, and set a comprehensive renewable energy goal. 
  • Put in place major policies and programs to reduce the rate of recidivism and reduce Vermont’s inmate population.
  • Expanded government transparency. 
  • Signed the first balanced budget without raising income, sales, or rooms and meals taxes on hard-working Vermonters.