Legislators pledge cooperation but reject an initial request to up from $60 to $200 million the governor can spend without their approval.
Officials say they are not surprised because of increases in corporate and personal income tax receipts that were spurred largely by changes to federal tax laws last year.
Officials say bolstering Vermont’s after-school offerings is a way to prevent substance abuse, especially for middle school and high school youth.
The state Veterans’ Home in Bennington has too many empty beds and too many staff, and its state appropriation is under scrutiny. Next week, state officials will unveil new plans to keep the Veterans’ Home viable.
In January, the legislature will receive a report on the implications of legalizing marijuana. On Wednesday, lawmakers got an interim briefing from a lead researcher. He promised a “near book-length treatise” touching on all aspects of the issue.
This year’s budget adjustments and next year’s budget will have to wait till the Legislature reconvenes in January, but the Shumlin administration plans to address current revenue shortfalls by cutting spending without legislative approval. State lawmakers are questioning whether the administration has the authority to do so.
August revenue falls short of projections, which could lead to further budget cuts this year and big budget challenges next year.
Alcohol and drug abuse programs will lose $673,000. Funding for the Department for Children and Families cut by $3.8 million.
Legislative committee digs on its heels in taking more from the governor’s discretionary economic development fund but otherwise accepts most of the proposed reductions in FY15 spending.
The Joint Fiscal Committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s proposal to cut $31 million from this year’s budget.
State economists outlined several factors behind Vermont’s slower than expected economic recovery. Some reflect trends beyond the state’s control, others highlight regional differences in Vermont’s economy, and a few remain a mystery.
Despite news Thursday that budget cuts will be required to cope with a downgrade in the state’s revenue forecast, officials say the project must move forward.
$50,000 approved to begin engineering and material acquisition for Burlington to Rutland rail plan.
Lottery, state hospital beds, housing subsidies and more generate discussion with lawmakers.