The grand building, tucked down a side street from the Statehouse, is a former residence that has been part of the state’s capitol complex since the 1940s.
The Senate Appropriations Committee decided Tuesday to delay consideration of S.100, the bill that contains Gov. Phil Scott’s bond for affordable housing.
The biggest bite comes in the form of a $5 million revenue package. Lawmakers say the package is not raising new revenue but increasing compliance with existing tax law.
At a meeting Monday in Brattleboro, legislators discussed drastic impacts on health care, education and transportation if the president’s proposed budget is enacted.
He has asked senators to pencil in time in October. That would be shortly after the federal budget goes into effect, possibly with major cuts in funding for Vermont.
The public appeal came hours after the administration circulated a memo asking department and agency heads not to work with the Legislature on budget cuts.
Observers say it’s early in the session, new leaders are getting their sea legs, and uncertainty hangs over legislators as they worry about potential federal spending cuts.
One of the legislators, Sen. Peg Flory, R-Rutland, said federal funding for long-term transportation projects appears safe, while health care is a huge unknown.
Shifting more costs into the education fund while level funding local spending is unworkable, the committee said, with district budgets running 3.4 percent above the current year.
The budget conversation in Montpelier should shift away from “the gap” and more toward to the purpose of raising and spending public money.
Gov. Phil Scott is proving that he has an agenda far more aggressive than Candidate Scott’s.
He called his plan to set aside $10 million of the projected cost “a different way of accounting” that gives the state flexibility.
He would put $10 million of the expected cost of the program into a reserve fund rather than incorporating it into the budget. Lawmakers say that threatens to undermine the forecasting process.