Republican gubernatorial candidate Randy Brock has unveiled his plan to spur economic development in Vermont.
He says his approach is needed because there’s a perception that Vermont is a difficult place to do business.
The GOP candidate says up to 25 percent of the state’s workforce is set to retire over the next 5 years, and he thinks roughly half of these positions can be eliminated through attrition.
"Ten percent might be a good number to shoot at over time," said Brock. "And again it is in several ways though. It’s not by continuing to do everything that we do right now and expect fewer people to do it. That’s not what I am suggesting."
What Brock is suggesting is a top to bottom review of the operations of state government because he says there are a number of programs that the state can no longer afford to operate.
"That means I want to make the tough decisions as to what’s the most important thing we do," said Brock. "What’s the next most important thing we do. Those go at the top of list and continue down the list until we come to the things that are the least important to do."
Brock says it would be inappropriate to identify any programs before the overall review has taken place.
But he did target a program known as "income sensitivity" that lowers property tax burdens for households that have incomes lower than roughly $85,000.
"It’s now morphed into what is really a middle class tax entitlement that often is apparently abused by folks who have substantial assets but who have relatively low income based on the way that they have those assets invested."
Brock says the state also needs to rely less on expensive renewable energy sources so that businesses can have an affordable source of electricity in the future.