Pollina defends call to use funds for home heating assistance

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(Host) Anthony Pollina is defending his call to use money from the state’s rainy day funds to pay for home heating assistance. 

Speaking on VPR’s Vermont Edition, Pollina said the state isn’t doing enough to help people who’ll have a hard time paying their fuel bills this winter.  

(Pollina) "First of all, nobody’s talking about spending 75 or 80 million dollars. We’re talking about setting some of it aside for people who need it.  Then you build it up again."

(Host) Both Republican incumbent Governor Jim Douglas and Democratic challenger Gaye Symington oppose using the state’s rainy day Funds at this point. 

They say the funds may be needed if there have to be further cuts in the state budget. 

Pollina says even in tough economic times, ways can be found to increase state revenues without raising taxes.

He says one way is to convince large institutions like the University of Vermont to keep a small percentage of their investments in-state.

(Pollina) "Don’t tell them not to invest it in tobacco.  Tell them to invest two percent of it into a fund in Vermont and then you bring together other institutions to do the same."

(Host) Pollina also called for closing an exclusion in the capital gains tax, which he says could generate an additional 20 to 30 million dollars. 

He says the money could be used to repair roads and bridges and create additional jobs.

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