Gov. Phil Scott began his term in office by setting three top priorities: grow Vermont’s economy, make the state more affordable and protect the most vulnerable. Six months later, his administration and the Legislature achieved a remarkable feat — they approved a level-funded budget that didn’t raise taxes or fees.
In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Administration Secretary Susanne Young about the behind-the-scenes planning that led to the budget victory.
Despite the big win, however, state budget leaders face new challenges. An unexpected $29 million revenue downgrade will require the administration and Legislature to cut $12 million, after plugging the rest of the gap with available one-time funds. In addition, federal budget cuts coming from Washington, D.C., will affect all states, potentially requiring even more cuts.
Such challenges come on top of a daily crisis in the Green Mountain State that includes the loss of six workers from the workforce each day, a drop in enrollment of three students each day, and the loss of one child to opioid addiction each day.
Watch full episode: