2020 Vermont Governor Candidate Guide
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AFFORDABLE CARE ACT – Support Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?
Phil Scott – Yes. Opposed Republican effort to replace ACA. Says effort could undermine coverage or reduce funding for Medicaid expansion.
David Zuckerman – Yes. Now advocates moving to a single-payer, universal system.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE – Require political ads to disclose their largest funders?
Phil Scott – No position found.
David Zuckerman – Yes. Supports limits on campaign financing. Opposes current system that he says gives corporations too much power and makes it hard for people to run for office.
CLIMATE CHANGE – Consider human-caused climate change a serious threat?
Phil Scott – Yes. “I actually believe, myself, that climate change is real and it’s man-made.”
David Zuckerman – Yes. “We believe that it is important to do everything we can to … step up to stop climate change.”
CLIMATE CHANGE – Address as a top priority by taxing or limiting output of greenhouse gases?
Phil Scott -Mixed. Has opposed a carbon tax and advocated cutting subsidies for solar power. But has invested in state-specific climate goals. Broke with Trump by arguing U.S. should stay in the Paris Climate Agreement.
David Zuckerman – Yes. Supports a carbon tax. Supports increased use of renewable-energy sources.
Calls Scott’s climate approaches “incredibly incremental relative to the scale of the problem.”
COURT — SUPREME COURT – Support picking Ginsburg replacement now versus letting Nov. winner choose?
Phil Scott – No. Don’t rush. Wait till after inauguration. See CEEP Supreme Court guide.
David Zuckerma – No. Glad for Scott’s stand but says he should do more to oppose Trump. See CEEP Supreme Court guide.
COVID-19 – Support Trump administration’s response to coronavirus pandemic.
Phil Scott – No. Disagreed with Trump about who should decide when businesses should open or shut during the pandemic. Set cautious policy for pandemic approaches.
David Zuckerman – Commends Scott’s response but says he would have enacted mask mandate sooner and helped more with finances and education.
EDUCATION – Use public funding for private and/or for-profit schools?
Phil Scott – Yes. Has supported “school choice” at public events in the past.
David Zuckerman – No. Opposed vouchers for private schools. Wants income tax so everyone “pays their fair share for … public education.”
ENVIRONMENT – Tighten or loosen environmental regulations?
Phil Scott – Unclear. Opposed Trump administration’s replacement for the Clean Power Plan. “This is simply the wrong approach.”
David Zuckerman – Tighten. Supports government regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions.
FINANCIAL REGULATION – Tighten or loosen financial regulations?
Phil Scott – Tighten. Intervened in a court case to defend “an independent and effective CFPB.”
David Zuckerman – No position found.
GUN LAWS – Enact more restrictive gun legislation?
Phil Scott – Mostly. Historically against restrictions, but signed gun-violence-prevention legislation after the 2018 Parkland school shooting.
David Zuckerman – Yes. Supports restrictions on purchase and possession, and requiring background checks at gun shows.
IMMIGRATION – Create path to citizenship for “DACA” residents brought to U.S. as children? Support or oppose expanding border walls?
Phil Scott – Yes. Worked with a bipartisan group of governors to urge protections for DREAMers. Vermont joined a multi-state lawsuit opposing border-wall spending. Scott has opposed Trump restrictions on immigrants.
David Zuckerman – No position found. Supported state helping immigrant families excluded by federal COVID relief programs.
LABOR – Support “right- to-work” laws, eliminating unions’ ability to mandate dues for workers they represent?
Phil Scott – Mixed. Has supported a right-to-work law and vetoed a family medical leave bill. But has also supported teachers’ right to strike.
David Zuckerman – No. Such laws “harm union and non-union workers … by depressing union membership and limiting [their] effectiveness.”
LEGAL ABORTION – Keep legal or ban?
Phil Scott – Legal. Has “always been pro-choice.” Signed a 2019 abortion-rights bill that prohibits public entities from restricting an individual’s right to terminate a pregnancy.
David Zuckerman – Legal. “Protecting women’s choice is integral for women to have the power over their own lives.”
LGBT RIGHTS – Support LGBTQ rights?
Phil Scott – Unclear. Previously opposed civil unions and was concerned about gay marriage. Voted for state’s same-sex marriage bill in 2009, though said would have supported submitting as referendum.
David Zuckerman – Yes. “A longtime supporter of LGBTQIA rights. [I] co-sponsored the bill that codified marriage equality in Vermont.”
MARIJUANA – Keep illegal or decriminalize?
Phil Scott – Yes. Signed the bill to legalize marijuana in the state in 2018.
David Zuckerman – Yes. “Has been championing marijuana reform” since he was first elected to the legislature. Now advocates for a “legal marketplace” for it.
MINIMUM WAGE – Raise federal hourly minimum wage above current $7.25?
Phil Scott – No. Vetoed bill that would have raised state minimum wage in 2020, predicting “overall negative impact on economic growth.”
David Zuckerman – Yes. “Ensuring that the minimum wage keeps pace with the cost of living … will help those working full time.”
PLANNED PARENTHOOD – Support Planned Parenthood’s receiving public funds for non-abortion-related care?
Phil Scott – Yes. “I think they do great work for women’s health.”
David Zuckerman – Yes. “We will do all in our power to protect funding for Planned Parenthood to ensure they can continue to provide general health services.”
POLICE/COMMUNITY ISSUES – Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight?
Phil Scott – Yes. Signed a bill in July aimed at addressing excessive use of force by police. “This is a pivotal moment for meaningful change.”
David Zuckerman – Yes. “Limiting the use of force and holding our public safety officers accountable is required to rebuild trust in the system.”
STUDENT FINANCIAL AID – Support free or subsidized tuition for lower-income people?
Phil Scott – No. “Nothing is free.” But will work on ways to provide more affordable student loans.
David Zuckerman – Yes. Supports “free in-state tuition for Vermonters.”
TARIFFS – Support administration tariffs on steel and other products?
Phil Scott – No. Opposed tariffs on Canadian products. “They’re our largest trading partner. It has an effect on everything we do.”
David Zuckerman – No position found.
TAXES – Support administration’s $1.9 trillion (2017) tax cuts?
Phil Scott – No. Expressed concerns about the long-term impact and its rushed and partisan enactment.
David Zuckerman – No. Has focused his attention on how to recapture a portion of the cuts that went to wealthy taxpayers to address state needs.
VOTING RULES – Support efforts to make it easier to vote?
Phil Scott – Mixed. Reluctantly let a vote-by-mail bill become law without his signature.
David Zuckerman – Yes. Has urged citizens and the governor to ensure that mail-in voting is available for everyone.
Campus Election Engagement Project is a nonpartisan effort to help colleges engage students in elections. Sources include Votesmart.org, FactCheck.org, Politifact.com and candidate statements. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org offer guides to local races.