Under Gov. Phil Scott’s last-minute demands, a home valued at $200,000 would, at most, bring savings to Vermont families of less than $22 each year, less than a tank of gas.
The main focus of the closed-door meetings will be the three bills Scott has vetoed: the budget, property tax and pot legislation.
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.
Lawmakers gave school districts more flexibility for mergers and punted a decision on private school rules.
Lawmakers, lobbyists and the media were complaining the session was boring until Gov. Scott rolled out his proposal to negotiate with teachers statewide over health care benefits.
The leaders of the Vermont House and Senate said they have directed their caucuses to get some rest. Meanwhile, the governor sought to assure Vermonters that he would not allow a government shutdown.
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.
They are sending a plan to the governor to create another chance in the future to move collective bargaining to the state level. But it doesn’t capture the savings Scott sought now.
Legislative leaders united behind a new proposal on teacher health care savings while making plans to adjourn even if there’s no break in their impasse with the governor.
A group of House Republicans, independents and blue dog Democrats support Gov. Phil Scott’s plan to absorb one-time teacher health care savings of $26 million.
House Republicans will not support the budget if it does not include a plan to change how teachers’ health care is negotiated.
The Senate Finance Committee voted out a bill with higher property tax rates than the version the House passed.
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.
“Can you tell me why we can’t come up with a formula that you don’t have to have a Harvard degree to understand?” asked Rep. Ron Hubert, R-Milton.