Lawmakers Just Started The Special Session. How Could It End?

The acrimony in Montpelier has been clear for weeks as Gov. Phil Scott stuck to his promise not to sign the budget passed by lawmakers. Now elected officials are back in Montpelier for a special session to resolve the budget impasse, but with familiar arguments on both sides of the divide, are they any closer to an agreement?

At the heart of the impasse is the governor’s pledge to keep property taxes flat this year. Voters approved school budgets that would result in a property tax increase, but Gov. Scott wants to use millions of dollars in so-called "one-time" funding to maintain the status quo, keep property tax rates flat and pay for school budgets.

Lawmakers don't like that idea, overwhelmingly passing a budget that rejects the governor's approach.

Gov. Scott has pledged not to sign their budget when it hits his desk. And now lawmakers are one day into a special budget session searching for an agreement that proved elusive over months of work in Montpelier.

VPR capital reporter Peter Hirschfeld joins Vermont Edition to talk about what happened during the first day of the legislature's special session Wednesday, and what the possibilities are for actually ending the budget standoff.

Broadcast live on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.