Budget

Jon Elswick / AP

The federal budget proposal released this week by the Trump administration makes some major changes to the way the federal government spends its money. Many of those changes could have big implications for Vermonters.

One recent, cold winter morning, I was gingerly maneuvering the car out of the driveway when – wham - I backed into and knocked over the too-full recycling container, which I had placed there myself, sending the second half of Christmas all over the street.

The administration of Gov. Peter Shumlin says it hopes to avoid asking lawmakers for additional funds for the 2016 fiscal year in the annual budget adjustment and will instead seek authority to shuffle spending within state government.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

A downgrade in revenue projections has opened up a $31 million hole in the state budget. And the shortfall will likely result in unexpected cuts to government programs.

When lawmakers and Gov. Peter Shumlin gave final approval to the fiscal year 2015 state budget back in May, they assumed a 4.8-percent increase in revenues over the coming year. But it turns out the economic recovery isn’t going quite as well as they’d hoped.

Nina Keck / VPR

Brandon’s Select Board will meet in an emergency session tonight to trim a budget that’s already been voted down three times by local residents.

Officials in Brandon were hoping the third time would be the charm this week, but no such luck.  Voters overwhelmingly said no to a $3.2 million municipal budget. 

Richard Baker was among them. “Our tax rate is very high. There were people who put up 'vote no' signs this time that really amazed me,” said Baker.  “So I think people have just had it.”

Susan Keese / VPR

Vernon residents may be asked to rethink their unexpected Town Meeting vote to eliminate funding for the town’s police department.  A petition is circulating in town that calls for a special town meeting to reconsider the original $2.1 million dollar budget proposed by the town select board.

Toby Talbot / AP

A small group of House and Senate leaders are trying to hash out a budget compromise deal that both Republicans and Democrats can agree to before the next government shutdown battle looms. Vermont’s Bernie Sanders is on that committee and last week he released his own vision of what a progressive budget should look like.