State Budget

Lawmakers take an early peek at tax reform

Nu Ancel

Lawmakers and agency officials met Friday to recap recent income tax discussions, in preparation of renewed debate in Jan.

House committee absorbs dire budget gap warnings

House Appropriations

Next year’s budget won’t be drafted until January, but members of the House Appropriations Committee got a taste Wednesday of what they can look forward to when the Legislature reconvenes in 2014: budget shortfalls, increased costs and unfunded pension obligations.

Lawmaker criticizes St. Albans office deal

Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, who sits on the House Institutions Committee, said she is concerned about a financing plan approved by the Emergency Board for an office building in St. Albans during a House Committee on Corrections and Institutions meeting Friday. Photo by John Herrick/VTDigger

Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington, says complex financing plan could cut into capital fund, but project moves ahead.

State revenues hug targets

Deborah Fitchett/Creative Commons

State tax revenues stayed relatively steady through September. But the latest monthly report, collected before the federal government partially closed on Oct. 1, don’t reflect the economic impact of the shutdown and looming default narrowly averted Wednesday.

Public bank advocates press for study

Sen. Anthony Pollina. VTD/Josh Larkin

Proponents of a state-owned “public bank” want policymakers to consider alternatives to depositing taxpayer funds with out-of-state shareholders. The renewed call coincides with a $53 million civil penalty settlement by TD Bank, the state’s primary depository.

VTrans trims $4.1 million from FY14 budget

roads THUMB

Agency officials blended federal grants, leftover money from prior years, project delays and a few gambles to trim the budget for the state fiscal year that started July 1.

With money on hand and people who need it, lawmakers irritated by Catch-22

Elderly THUMB

The Department of Aging and Independent Living has $6 million is savings and a backlog of about 400 elderly and disabled Vermonters who could use some help, but the definition of how the money can be used stands between them.

State officials prepare for another cut in LIHEAP funding

Gov. Peter Shumlin has directed an initial $13.5 million LIHEAP payment to assist families in need of heating assistance and called on Congress and the White House to boost heating aid to northeastern states. VTD/Josh Larkin

While Congress dithers over how much to cut from a program that helps low-income people heat their homes, Vermont officials work to manage the uncertainty.

State revenues hug targets for now, budget gap looms for 2015

JFO Chief Fiscal Officer Stephen Klein. VTD/Josh Larkin

Tracking very close to revenue forecasts, state tax collections leave little room to buffer mounting pressures from Medicaid and other sources, the Joint Fiscal Office reported Wednesday morning.

Vermont Yankee’s closing next year to leave a hole in state budget

Vermont Yankee on the banks of the Connecticut River

Loss of revenue from energy generation tax will hit bottom line if lawmakers don’t find a way to replace money from Entergy.

Pearce predicts $150 million savings on retired teachers health care costs

Pearce Strikesthumb

The state will received enhanced Medicare subsidies for low-income retirees, which will help to lower overall expenditures for prescription drugs through the state health insurance plan for retired teachers.

Federal program cuts could last a decade

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A 16-page report from the Joint Fiscal Office released last month shows that Vermont could see tens of millions of dollars in annual program reductions in a broad swath of public services.

Administration asks for $2 million more for Vermont Veterans’ Home deficit

Vermont Veterans' Home

The $3.5 million annual shortfall at the Vermont Veterans’ Home is in the foreground at the moment. Looming in the background is the specter of much deeper federal cuts.

DCF curtails motel voucher program for homeless; advocates object

Secretary Doug Racine. VTD/Josh Larkin

The Legislature wants the tab cut to $1.5 million, and to comply with that order, the Department for Children and Families has devised a point system to determine who is “vulnerable” enough to get a room.

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