The commission came out of a months-long scramble earlier this year as Scott and Democratic legislative leadership were at an impasse over a proposal to change how teachers’ health care benefits are negotiated.
Republican see the session as a win; Democrats ‘aren’t spiking the football.’
News Release — Rep. Mitzi Johnson June 21, 2017 Contact: Katherine Levasseur (802) 828-2245 [email protected] HOUSE SPEAKER MITZI JOHNSON’S STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF THE STATE BUDGET “Legislative leaders stepped up to find a way to avoid a state government shutdown after the Governor’s veto put Vermonters in a really tough position. The budget passed the […]
“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.
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.
House Republican leaders have indicated that they are not likely to accept a rules suspension. If they follow through with that threat, they would effectively kill the bill for this year.
The board came out against the idea — put forward by some legislators near the end of the session — to force budget cuts if districts didn’t reach a certain outcome in negotiations with teachers.
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.
The worst thing for a party, even one as strong as the Vermont Democrats, is to have working families and small businesses feel they are taking a back seat to a special interest group.
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.
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.
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.
Ahead of lawmakers’ return for an unbudgeted 19th week of this session, progress is slow.