State Budget

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The state of Vermont needs to do a better job justifying its rulings in cases of alleged employee misconduct, according to a pair of new reports from the office of State Auditor Doug Hoffer.

Pete Hirschfeld / VPR

Late Thursday night, the Legislature adjourned for the year after passing a state budget that Gov. Phil Scott has said he will veto. Our panel of top political reporters looks at the two weeks of deadlock over the budget, and what happens next.

Outline of Vermont on top of collage of $1 bills.
Vepar5 / iStock.com

As we near the end of the legislative session, budget and tax issues are a focus at the Statehouse. VTDigger reporter Elizabeth Hewitt joins Vermont Edition to discuss the budget plans that were voted on in the House and Senate, as well as a recent proposal from the governor.

Outline of Vermont on top of collage of $1 bills.
Vepar5 / iStock.com

Every year, the state budget is the one must-pass piece of legislation for lawmakers and the governor. But getting to agreement on the budget is fraught with philosophical differences and competing priorities.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

The House Committee on Appropriations is expected to vote out its version of the fiscal year 2018 state budget Monday. Here are some takeaways about the state budget as it stands.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson joins the program to talk about a range of topics, including the Legislature's reaction to Gov. Phil Scott's proposal for Vermont school budgets.

Angela Evancie / VPR

While Phil Scott was running for governor, he vowed to limit growth in the state's budget to the growth in the underlying economy.

Vermonters have now had an opportunity to see what Gov. Scott has in mind for the state.

Angela Evancie / VPR file

In the most highly anticipated speech of his political career, Gov. Phil Scott says he’ll unveil a state budget plan Tuesday afternoon that calls for zero growth in ongoing general fund expenditures.

James Margolis / iStock

What services should the state be funding and what elements of our infrastructure can we not afford to ignore? They're big questions with a lot of different answers.

The private agencies that provide community-based mental health services across Vermont have taken a hit to their budgets, and they’re asking lawmakers to help restore the funding.

Last year, the Department of Vermont Health Access lowered reimbursement rates for a service known as group therapy. The new rates are in some instances only about one third the amount that the agencies formerly received.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations has rejected the bulk of the budget-cutting package Gov. Peter Shumlin has pressed them to adopt – for now at least.

Senate lawmakers will head to the floor today to give final approval to a fiscal year 2016 spending plan. Shumlin sought $8 million in last-minute reductions, but Caledonia Sen. Jane Kitchel said Friday morning there are too many unanswered questions about how Shumlin’s proposal would impact various programs.

Angela Evancie / VPR

Politics often makes for strange bedfellows. But the Statehouse alliance behind the budget this year is unusually odd. House Republicans have joined with Democratic leadership to ensure passage of the $5.6 billion spending plan.

Charlotte Albright / VPR

As lawmakers struggle to craft a balanced budget, some are looking at ways to make the state's judicial system less costly. Residents in Grand Isle and Essex Counties are furious about one proposal — to close their courthouses.

When Governor  Peter Shumlin announced that the state was facing a $100 million dollar deficit earlier this year, one thing placed immediately on the chopping block was funding for the Vermont Veterans' Home in Bennington.

Last week the board of the Veterans' Home met to discuss cost saving measures. They decided to reduce their capacity from 170 beds to 130. That will lower their Medicaid tax burden by $200,000 dollars. The home will also save money by not filling 13 open positions. But that still leaves them over $2 million dollars in the hole.

Peter Hirschfeld / VPR File

State revenues are falling behind projections and Vermont is staring at a potential $100 million deficit.

Outgoing Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding and Finance Commissioner Jim Reardon discuss plans to eliminate the deficit and how budget cuts might affect people who rely on state assistance.