The rare bipartisan agreement on three major initiatives may eliminate the need for a special state legislative session in October.
Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille said departments generally are not allowed to spend more than the Legislature budgeted, but that the administration is allowing it in this situation.
Our state budget already underfunds needed services and the tax system that raises the money that funds the budget is unfair.
This legislative session resulted in real progress and an important shift in our thinking.
The House Budget Committee plan would make significant cuts to domestic non-defense programs that he said would have a big impact in Vermont, while increasing defense spending.
Three days before the start of a new fiscal year, Gov. Phil Scott has signed a state budget into law, but looming federal cuts could upend Vermont’s financial apple cart.
Republican see the session as a win; Democrats ‘aren’t spiking the football.’
“I am concerned this sets up an increase in taxes next year, but that ship has sailed,” said Rep. Cynthia Browning, D-Arlington.
“Compromise is successful when nobody gets everything they want, and nobody walks away with their last choice option,” said the House speaker. Lawmakers passed budget and tax bills and wrapped up.
The deal between Gov. Phil Scott and lawmakers requires school boards to either negotiate Scott’s preferred health care plans or dig into their budgets to save money for taxpayers.
“I think we have a strong compromise that everybody will be able to say yes to,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson. The issue was how to find savings on teacher health benefits.
But the administration’s budget chief, Andy Pallito, says a $15 million to $30 million budget-cutting exercise is still on tap for the next year.
The House clerk said the budget and property tax bill vetoes needed to come in separate letters. Scott’s spokesperson called the rejection “hyper-political.” The clerk’s office later accepted resubmitted versions.
Vermont-NEA President Martha Allen said she feared a government shutdown, although the governor has said: “This isn’t D.C., and I will not shut down state government over this issue.”