budget 2018

Paul Cillo: More state control is not the answer

The governor’s simplistic and unnecessary proposal created chaos in Montpelier and put the Legislature two weeks beyond its scheduled adjournment.

Legislature adjourns facing budget veto by Gov. Scott

Lawmakers left Montpelier without reaching a resolution with the governor over his proposal to change teachers’ health care benefits negotiations. Lawmakers set aside time in late June to return to Montpelier for a special Legislative session.

The Deeper Dig: The $26 million question

In this first installment of a new podcast, VTDigger’s Mark Johnson and Elizabeth Hewitt break down the political maneuvering over teacher health care that led to the breakdown of adjournment.

Democrats link Scott’s housing priorities to budget enactment

If Scott vetoes the budget, he will be both vetoing his own housing bond and delaying the effective date of his proposed housing tax credits.

Panel finalizes state budget, paving way for adjournment

The plan reflects some of the governor’s priorities, yet he has threatened a veto over teacher benefits. “I don’t see what there is in this budget for him not to like,” said House Appropriations Chair Kitty Toll.

UPDATED: Legislative leaders say they’ve reached an impasse

Top Democrats say the House and Senate will move ahead with remaining legislation even without the governor’s support and adjourn as early as the end of the week.

Speaker introduces new teacher health insurance plan into end-of-session mix

Mitzi Johnson says her plan would address concerns about teacher benefits that are holding up adjournment. The Senate president wouldn’t comment, while unions rejected it.

House due back Wednesday, Senate TBD

Ahead of lawmakers’ return for an unbudgeted 19th week of this session, progress is slow.

Lots of talk, no ‘real progress’ on teacher health care deal

“We’re going to have to get creative in order to do it. I think they can,” Scott said on a day of meetings about the issue that’s blocking adjournment.

New teacher contracts illustrate challenge of saving

Four of the eight agreements include the premium sharing the governor says the state can achieve. Legislative analysts say other assumptions would have to hold true for his plan to work.

Mental health, education fund, Windsor prison top budget talks

The largest point of conflict is the Senate’s decision to move a $7.9 million teachers’ retirement contribution out of the general fund and onto the education fund, putting pressure on property taxes.

Senate budget requires Vermont Life to ‘fish or cut bait’

The language calls for a request for proposals, which could include sale, partnership or other arrangements. If no viable options come in, the magazine would quit publishing.

Education finance bill emerges with tax rate boost

The Senate Finance Committee voted out a bill with higher property tax rates than the version the House passed.

Teacher retirement proposal stumps Finance Committee

A delay in finalizing the education finance bill leaves an $8 million hole, for now, in the state budget. “You don’t put cost into the ed fund lightly,” Sen. Ann Cummings said.