Vermont’s Republican House and Senate members met together at the Statehouse on Thursday to echo Gov. Phil Scott’s recent concerns that the budget proposed by the supermajority could raise the General Fund base budget by 12% and spend $500 million on new programs annually.
The budget emanating from the House currently features cuts to “every single initiative” of the discussions. “Not only that, but they also increase the state general fund budget over the last year by 12%,” Scott said. “They did that by spending over $60 million more than I propose in ongoing base expenditures.”
I have to say I’m very concerned with the direction we’re heading in. And it’s not because some of my proposals have been cut. I worry about how we will possibly pay for all of this as we look towards an uncertain economic future.
The cauldron of poison bubbling in Vermont has been spilling across the Connecticut River for years. If we don’t dilute that influence, we may all be looking for another state in which we have some hope to live free before we die.
Unfortunately, there will be many other opportunities to fritter away the remaining federal COVID windfall on band aids rather than tackling problems which will be with us when the federal dollars are gone. It’s time to watch legislators closely and speak up loudly.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Tiffany Bleumle, D-Chittenden, calls for the creation of a technical advisory committee that would be charged with updating the methodology the state uses in determining how much money families need to earn to live in the state.
Medicaid, emergency medical services and mental health were among the weighty funding priorities a Vermont legislative panel began digging into Monday in a comb-through of Gov. Phil Scott’s fiscal year 2024 budget.
Initiatives targeting a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be funded if the Vermont Office of Climate Action gets an additional $200,000 in the state’s upcoming fiscal year 2024 budget.
“However, despite significant agreement on both adjustments and one-time initiatives the administration is concerned about three sizable investments, which together exceed $80 million in new additional general fund spending,” Administration Secretary Kristin Clouser said.
The Democrat Party seems to be bent on further tumult beyond justification. But that’s part of their brand; you can always count on Democrat lawmakers to meddle and complicate something that used to be so simple.
In both his inaugural and budget adjustment addresses this month, Scott placed a priority on closing the economic gap between Vermont’s more populated cities and its small, rural towns. The governor proposed $3 million in his budget to help Vermont’s least-equipped towns take advantage of funding.
Eleven organic dairy farms in Vermont closed in 2021. The next year, 18 more followed. And this year the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont expects to lose another 28 farms. That data is why the association wants to see $9.2 million sent to organic dairy farmers in this year’s budget.