Unfunded Liabilities: Vermont's Sleeping Giant

Friends, Every year, when budget writers in Montpelier begin their work--and legislators begin to determine what to spend--the backdrop of these conversations is marked by a unavoidable reality: Vermont has a serious problem with its unfunded liabilities. All together, we have a total liability of just over $8 billion--that’s billion, with a “b.” For comparative purposes, that’s larger than our entire state budget. These liabilities are composed of our teachers’ pension ($3.4 billion), teachers other post-employment benefits, or OPEB ($0.9 billion), state employees’ pension ($2.7 billion), and state employees OPEB ($1.2 billion). We have a little over $3.5 billion of assets, leaving us with an “unfunded” liability of about $4.5 billion dollars. Continue reading

Don Turner: Carbon Tax

Vermont and France have at least two attributes in common—both produce world class cheese and both have a low carbon footprint. France has implemented modern nuclear power to generate electricity which does not generate carbon, and Vermont is a carbon “sink”—meaning our carbon emissions from fuel are more than offset by carbon absorbed by our forests and farmlands.   So it was perhaps unsurprising that French citizens protested a carbon tax proposal by President Macron given the cost of fuel and France’s low carbon profile. French citizens realized that they would pay dearly in additional fuel taxes for the sole purpose of assuaging the carbon guilt of jet-setting EU aristocrats.   Let me be clear: Climate change is real, and must be addressed. From modernizing weatherization, to encouraging “green” businesses, to developing well-sited renewable energy, we can tackle this challenge. But a carbon tax will undoubtedly be introduced this upcoming session by the new and more left-leaning legislature in conjunction with more regulation on emissions and tax credits for purchases of electric cars. These proposals or policies are regressive—meaning the impact will be more punitive for low and moderate income people than for upper income folks. Let’s break it down... Continue reading

Our Story--A Message from Gail Turner

Below is a message from Don's wife of 34 years, Gail, on their story together--and why you should vote Don on Tuesday, November 6th: Continue reading

Lt. Governor Candidate Don Turner Responds to Lt. Governor David Zuckerman’s Comments on Vaccines and the CDC

Milton, VT--Today, candidate for Lieutenant Governor Don Turner issued the following statement in response to Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman’s remarks opposing the elimination of the philosophical exemption for vaccines and impugning the integrity of the Centers for Disease Control during the VTDigger Lieutenant Governor Debate: Continue reading

The Final Weeks

Over the final weeks of the campaign, Don has been overwhelmed with the support he's received from Vermonters in all corners of our state. We wanted to send you some of the recent letters to the editor Don's received in support of his campaign for Lt. Governor. Continue reading

Lt. Governor Candidate Don Turner’s Public Appearance Schedule for October 30th through November 6th

Milton, VT - Today, State Representative and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Don Turner announced his public schedule for Tuesday, October 30th through Tuesday, November 6th.For more information on Don’s candidacy, please visit www.donturnerjr.org.Tuesday, October 30th7:00am - 7:30amWVMT, Charlie and Ernie (with Rep. Kurt Wright)7:45am - 9:00amWinooski Sign WaveMain Street, Winooski, VT4:30pm - 5:30pmWilliston Sign WaveTaft Corners, Williston, VT Continue reading

St. Albans Messenger Endorses Turner

Don Turner best choice for Lt. Gov. When Moody’s downgraded Vermont’s bond rating this week, it also set some parameters for what Vermonters should consider when they choose between the candidates in the general election Nov. 6. The issue, as Moody’s stressed, is the state’s low rate of growth, the aging of its population, and how it handles its unfunded pension liabilities. It’s an issue of fiscal discipline and how we reorient our economy to produce the growth and the jobs that go along with it. It’s Vermont’s fundamental challenge. In the Lt. Gov.’s race between progressive David Zuckerman and Republican Don Turner, it’s Mr. Turner who is best equipped to help meet the state’s challenges. Mr. Turner’s entire political life has been focused on precisely what Moody’s says ails us. In contrast, Mr. Zuckerman’s political objectives, almost without exception, land on the far left of the political spectrum, and do little to address Vermont’s core challenges. His most widely known proposal to stimulate growth is that of legalizing the recreational sale of marijuana Continue reading

Lt. Governor Candidate Don Turner’s Public Appearance Schedule for October 23rd through October 29th

Lt. Governor Candidate Don Turner’s Public Appearance Schedule for October 23rd through October 29th Milton, VT - Today, State Representative and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Don Turner announced his public schedule for Tuesday, October 23rd through Monday, October 29th. Don will be meeting with Vermonters to discuss his focus on affordability. Continue reading

Turner Cares About Southern Vermont

We need comprehensive leadership under the Golden Dome. Representative Don Turner brings a number of perspectives to the position of Lieutenant Governor—that of a legislator for 13 years, first responder for over 30 years, town manager, and small businessman. He is a true public servant.  Continue reading