State Budget

Gov. Phil Scott called a special session, which started this week, after vowing to veto the state budget passed by lawmakers.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Democratic lawmakers have been severely critical of Gov. Phil Scott’s plan to avoid an increase in statewide property tax rates, but the Republican governor has also struggled to win buy-in from members of his own party.

Gov. Phil Scott addresses the Vermont Senate after lawmakers adjourned the legislative session Saturday night. Scott, who is expected to veto the state budget, says there's a "fundamental disagreement" between him and legislators.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

The $5.8 billion budget passed by the Vermont Legislature late Saturday night is supposed to fund government through the middle of 2019, but the spending plan will more likely have a shelf life of only a few days.

Gov. Scott delivered his 2018 budget address before a joint session of the Vermont Legislature.
Emily Alfin Johnson / VPR/file

Calling for consensus to avoid a property tax increase, Gov. Phil Scott's budget address outlined his spending priorities and principles for the coming year.

Vermont Edition digs into the details of just what the governor is proposing with his new budget, and how the math works out to pay for it without raising taxes or fees.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe, center, flanked by Democratic colleagues in the Legislature, say they have concerns with Gov. Phil Scott's approach to the issue of cost-containment in public schools.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

With an executive branch in Republican hands, and a Legislature overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, ideological conflict is part and parcel of state government these days. And it became clear Tuesday afternoon where that partisan divide is widest.

Secretary of Administration Susanne Young and Commissioner of Finance Adam Greshin told reporters Tuesday that the governor's fiscal year 2019 budget plan ties rate of growth in state spending to the increase in Vermonters' wages.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

In a budget proposal that one administration official describes as having “no bells … and no whistles,” Republican Gov. Phil Scott is calling for a $5.9 billion spending plan that pegs the rate of growth in the budget to the increase in Vermonters’ incomes in recent years.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Jeb Wallace-Brodeur / The Times Argus

Gov. Phil Scott used his State of State Address Thursday to telegraph a potentially dramatic proposal for education funding in Vermont, saying he stands ready to block a 7-cent jump in next year’s statewide property tax rates.

Vermont Statehouse dome on a cloudy day.
Kirk Carapezza / VPR/file

A few years ago, Vermont enacted a law that tries to give the general public a bigger role in the budget writing process, but one legislator says the Scott administration isn’t following the spirit of the statute.

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.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says passage of a property tax reform package is a top priority for this session
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.

Vermont's gubernatorial race is beginning to take shape.
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.

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