Pollina announces economic growth plan

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(Host) Anthony Pollina, the Progressive Party’s candidate for lieutenant governor, says he has a low-cost plan for the state to help Vermont businesses. On Tuesday Pollina announced an economic development effort that he says could jump start the struggling economy.

According to Pollina, Vermont could provide low-interest loans using just 2% of the interest it earns on short-term bank deposits:

(Pollina) “What this says is that on any given day, the state of Vermont has cash in the bank that’s earning interest. And what we’re proposing to do is take a small percentage of that cash, putting it in a linked deposit program so that it can be loaned to Vermont businesses at lower interest rates to provide them the capital they need to grow jobs.”

(Host) Pollina also wants to tap 2% of the state’s retirement funds for economic development. The state’s retirement funds now total over two billion dollars, so the Pollina proposal could provide about $40 million for investment.

Pollina says this money could be used for housing, renewable energy and rural development projects.

(Pollina) “I believe that the 2% for Vermont strategy is one that Vermonters will find very appealing, because it’s a way that we can all begin to invest in Vermont, get some return, but also create some long term benefits for the economy, and frankly for our community and for our environment as well.”

(Host) The Progressive Party candidate also says state government should buy more Vermont products and use Vermont companies for its contracts and services.

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