Vermont GOP lawmakers share governor’s alarm over half-billion in new spending proposals

Michael Bielawski/TNR

SOUNDING THE ALARM: Senate and House Republicans gathered Thursday in the Cedar Creek Room of the Vermont Statehouse to support the governor’s worry that the Democrats’ budget proposal could raise annual expenditures by half a billion dollars.

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.

Rep. Patricia McCoy, R-Poultney, the House minority leader, started off the meeting by reminding listeners that billions of dollars in federal funding received in recent years were one-time funds, not money that could be used to support new programs.

She noted that the governor’s $8.4 billion budget delivered in January didn’t raise any new taxes, included bi-partisan objectives, and made sure Vermonters “got the most of these one-time funds” and did not create unfunded liabilities for the future.

state of Vermont

House Minority Leader Patricia McCoy, R-Poultney

“The governor laid out a responsible, common sense plan to use federal dollars and one-time surplus funds to address the needs of Vermonters,” McCoy said. “The governor’s budget funded critical issues like expanding childcare, tax relief for low and middle-income families, creating permanent housing for the homeless, and building education and workforce [opportunities].”

She called the budget proposal advanced by the Democratic and Progressive parties “a drastic departure from the responsible path laid out by the administration.”

“The proposal in front of us raises the General Fund base by 12% — 12% over last year’s — while eliminating much of the bi-partisan initiatives included in the administration’s proposals. Under this budget, Vermonters would pay more and in many cases get less, with more to pay in the future,” McCoy said.

She criticized the Legislature’s paid family leave proposal with its early price estimates at around $117.6 million for the fiscal year 2027. She said the program is currently underfunded in the budget proposal by more than 70%, meaning lawmakers still need to find a future revenue source that has not yet been identified.

She reminded audiences that Gov. Scott won reelection with 71% of the vote in Vermont, and that this support was a response his fiscal management of the state centered around limited spending increases and no new taxes.

Rep. Casey Toof, R-St. Albans, pointed out that this budget includes new revenue from millions of dollars in fees that were not ever requested. As an example, he noted that the Legislature’s proposed budget raises fees from the Department of Motor Vehicles, increasing everything from license renewal, vehicle and trailer registrations, and even registering fishing boats and snow mobiles.

Toof called this “an unprecedented increase that will hit low-income Vermonters the hardest.”

The GOP lawmakers noted that three new programs — the Affordable Heat Act, paid family leave, and child care — would add $500 million to the state’s financial burden ever year.

“In other words, half a billion dollars to the state’s financial burden every year for Vermonters who are simply overburdened and they simply cannot afford this budget,” Toof said.

Sen. Randy Brock, R-Franklin, stressed that this proposal seems to rely on funds that aren’t going to be there anymore.

“We have to recognize that they are one-time money, they are money that we’re not going to get again,” he said. “Just before the recession, just before the pandemic, each year we had difficulty and we had to work hard to make our budget work. … Those times are coming back again.”

Brock also noted that he’s been getting hundreds of messages from constituents protesting against S.5, the Affordable Heat Act — a statewide home heating policy that shifts Vermont off of carbon-emitting heat sources to newer technologies such as electric heat pumps.

“[I received] more than 700 emails, and I lost count of the number of calls and messages in opposition to that. [It’s more] than I’ve ever gotten before than on any issue in all the time that I’ve been in the General Assembly,” Brock said.

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Michael Bielawski/TNR and state of Vermont

14 thoughts on “Vermont GOP lawmakers share governor’s alarm over half-billion in new spending proposals

  1. The GOP lawmakers noted that three new programs, the Affordable Heat Act, a major
    ” boondoggle “, paid family leave, and child care ” Why ” I raised my family with nothing
    from the government “tit”.

    So by adding $500 million to the state’s financial burden every year legislators on the left
    think this makes sense………… incompetent comes to mind !!

    How about before getting ” deeper ” in debt, you figure out how to control the current debt,
    on how to pay off the ” Unfunded Liabilities ” that the state has, did I mention incompetence?

    Wake up people, they just don’t care………………………

  2. Did they read the memo that the US dollar is losing it’s world currency status? Do they know that billions of US dollars (via Treasury bonds) are about to be dumped back on US shores? All those foreign investors holding US dollars see USA inflation devaluing the currency and beelining to the Yuan and signing onto BRICS. Saudi Arabia selling oil for Yuan? Mexico now considering signing on? How many trade deals being made between China, Russia, and Iran? Our politicians scramble to hide the Truth, hold back the landside, distract everyone with BS narratives, and steal as much as possible before the implosion. Americans have no clue hyperinflation and insolvency is about to hit them broadside.

    • This is just why they are doing this actually Melissa..trying to cram through the much higher budget.
      The dollar is going to crash and they know this- so they are pigging out at the trough.
      It’s a bit like maxing out a credit card that you have no intention of paying back.

      Then of course they’ll attempt to roll out a digital currency that will enslave us all- and that is when I suppose things really go sideways. I’m reading July.

      India has just dropped the dollar and will begin trading in rupees with several countries going forward.
      This thing is going to fall all at once really soon.. a couple weeks maybe.
      Why does everyone think they are pulling this BS with this Trump indictment right now???
      Duh.. look at this shiny object while the world entirely changes in reaction to what the Biden Administration has done.. he’s tipped over the ponzi scheme by printing piles of worthless Fiat.. YEAH, just like Melissa says, this budget has everything to do with what is going on out there.

      • THIS is what has been going on for the past 7 days around the world as we all watched the Distraction that is the Trump Indictment Show.. now read this list, think of what this means, absorb what just went on and then think about what they’ve got going on with Trump and then your state budget.. Yeah, as I said here 24 hours ago.. it’s all connected.
        Wake Up Vermonters!

        • Japan, Asian-pacific countries, South American countries, who hold Treasury bonds are in a position to hold them – but demand trade be paid in the currency of their choosing. All those auto parts, computer chips, cell phones, circuit boards, medicines, food items, infrastructure components, are not manufactured here. So, either way, they got us by the short hairs (the EU as well.) The agreements forged by Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, et al. know the West is so corrupt and severely weakened by corruption, it is the best time to take us out. The house of cards is falling – unfortunately, the syndicate will not go down without taking a large number of the population down as well. Pray and pray some more!

          • Yup, spot on Melissa.
            Wait until all we have here in this country is gone and used up and we are trying to figure out how to replace it all and worse, the cost of it all. There will be a whole lot that we never see again.
            We’re about to learn why our grandparents saved glass jars and scraps of tin foil and bread ties..
            Over here in my neck of the woods in NH, where we get all this, we’ve been having meetings about how to, and the importance OF, creating and strengthening our small and local economies so that we can survive this disaster that they say 81 million people voted to try and live through.
            Vermont better get on this wagon and fast..

            Steve issued this warning this morning- which also explains a whole lot in Vermont:

  3. Nothing will change, unless the numbered, date-stamped ballots are counted, by hand, by a Democrat and a Republican, before being credited.
    All voting must be in person
    No mail-out ballots

    The office maintaining the registered voting list must be bi-partisan staffed, with co-leaders, to ensure a “clean registered voter list, with frequent cross checks against standard data bases

  4. Inexplicable that a majority of the voting public maintains Gov. Scott in office statewide, yet most of the individual senate and house districts collectively sent a supermajority of demoprogs to Montpelier to make his existence barely relevant. The demoprogs and their media handmaidens have done an amazing job of marketing the notion that unless you vote on the left, you are a knuckledragging, racist, homophobic, transphobic, white supremacist with a gun fetish. Voting is still more or less anonymous, yet the majority of Vermont voters act as if it is a public act of virtue signaling. Too bad most people dont vote for common sense conservatives and just tell everyone they didn’t. We did this to ourselves. We could solve all of our energy problems if we could harness the power of Ethan Allen and Calvin Coolidge turning in their graves.

  5. Vermont’s GOP needs to hold strong and post via any and all media, all the foolishness
    of spending to the taxpayers by these inept liberals………………………….

    Real Vermonters have your back, show the state just how pathetic these clowns are !!

  6. Socialists love to spend other people’s money. It wasn’t too many years ago when I was in the military with a mission to defeat communism and socialism. Now they are running (ruining) my state and country.

    • I agree. the commies took Vermont and never fired a shot. — Once I served too, and keep wondering if I’ll have to do it again.

  7. Are these not obscene amounts of money? These are funds taken from you and more is on the horizon. Is this what you want? Should we be withholding our approval…funds?

  8. My legislators don’t listen. I’m sure they are underwater on their own home budgets otherwise how else can this happen.

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