(Host) Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie says he plans to work closely with Governor Jim Douglas on a variety of economic development issues in the coming months.
VPR’s Bob Kinzel examines Dubie’s role as the state’s new lieutenant governor:
(Kinzel) There’s a new person presiding over the Vermont Senate these days – Republican Brian Dubie. The work of the presiding officer can be very complex in determining the proper rules of order for the chamber. Dubie, who had no legislative experience before running for office, listened to CDs of previous Senate sessions to prepare for his new job.
Dubie, who is trained as a pilot, is approaching his new job with a lot of enthusiasm and he openly admits that he has a lot to learn about the workings of the Legislature and state government:
(Dubie) “I like it. I think it’s great. My wife made a prediction a couple of weeks ago. She said, ‘You know Brian, you like people and you like to learn things. I think you’re going to have a great time.’ And she’s right.”
(Kinzel) Dubie wants to make economic development issues the major focus of his office and he’s meeting with business leaders to help draft new policies that are designed to stimulate job growth:
(Dubie) “It’ll be a balanced, focused plan that will look at retaining and growing jobs and companies that we have in state. And it will also be trying to recruit new companies that would fit within the Vermont way of life that have a low footprint on the environment.”
(Kinzel) Dubie and Douglas plan to work very closely together. They have scheduled a private meeting once a week and the governor has invited Dubie to attend all of his cabinet meetings. Despite this close working relationship, Dubie says he won’t hesitate to disagree with the governor when he feels it’s important:
(Dubie) “I’m an independent thinker. Vermonters elected me independently of the governor. I’m no wallflower; I’m a fighter pilot. I will speak my mind but I’ll do it in a way that’s respectful, just like a good co-pilot would tell his captain when he thinks he’s going in the wrong way. I will do the same thing for the governor.”
(Kinzel) Governor Douglas says Dubie is a great resource for the new administration and the governor views Dubie as a key partner on many of the critical issues facing the state:
(Douglas) “This is perhaps the first time in a number of years when the governor and lieutenant governor – whether they’re of the same party or not – are completely compatible. We like each other. We enjoy each others’ company. Our families like each other. We’re two individuals who want to do what we can in tandem for the best interests of our state.”
(Kinzel) Dubie also plans to visit dozens of schools around the state with Education Commissioner Ray McNulty to learn more about the issues facing local educators.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Bob Kinzel in Montpelier.