Scott has presented no Plan B to fix the gap in the general fund and has told lawmakers that if they bring him a budget that increases taxes or fees, or cuts frontline workers, he will veto it.
If legislators are serious about turning Vermont’s poor economic outlook around, then we must be open to making difficult but necessary choices together.
Lawmakers spent January in machinations typically seen at the end of a session, as they strove in the lead-up to March town meetings to adjust the controversial allowable growth spending caps in the new law.
The city’s former mayor is on the Democratic presidential primary ballot, but what else will Queen City voters be asked to consider Tuesday on Town Meeting Day?
In the upcoming votes for school budgets in Vermont, a new wrinkle has been inserted within every Australian ballot budget article presented to local voters.
If school district were to be required to contribute more local dollars, it would spur innovation and efficiencies that would lead to better programing for students.
As is always the case in the second half of the biennium, lawmakers are thinking about leaving or re-election. There is little incentive in either case for legislators to stick their necks out on issues they don’t believe have traction back home.
Last year, the average statewide property tax rate increased 2.5 cents and 2 cents for nonresidential. The prior year, the average property tax rate went up by 9 cents and nonresidential by 7.5 cents.
Allen Gilbert: “[Lawmakers] never honestly explored whether it was true that larger schools and larger school districts lead to better performance by students and savings of money.”
The Vermont school boards, superintendents, and principals associations and the Vermont Agency of Education have offered to meet with board chairs and superintendents to get them started on the requirements of H.361.
Senators voted 27-3 to accept the latest version of the education reform bill.
A cap on school spending is likely unconstitutional and so legislators have gone back to the drawing board and are now considering a per-pupil spending formula.
“Setting aside for the moment that the proposal is temporary, you have a built-in unequal access to education funding. I believe that would create a Brigham problem.”
The plan includes a variety of incentives for school districts to forge PreK-12 districts with 900 students from tax breaks to grants, and offers flexibility for the new systems.