Gov. Peter Shumlin isn’t offering any sneak previews of his budget address next month. But the third-term governor says the fiscal shortfalls lawmakers face in 2016 aren’t as bad as in previous years.
“What I can tell you is that of all of the budgets I’ve balanced so far, it’s worth mentioning that this one is the least challenging,” Shumlin says.
The governor said that as revenue continues to rebound from the Great Recession, solving the state’s budget woes has become much easier.
Last year, lawmakers faced a $113 million gap between projected revenues, and the anticipated cost to run state government. This year, the gap is about half that amount, though lawmakers are also dealing with the reemergence of a significant shortfall in the current year’s spending plan.
Shumlin’s critics say state spending continues to outstrip revenues, and that the administration and lawmakers need to do more to rein in costs.