The great tax and spending deadlock of 2018 is now over. Gov. Scott, after a hectic month of thrust and counterthrust with the Democratic House and Senate, got most of what he wanted.
It’s too early to know if the Senate’s budget compromise will survive. But it’s a good faith effort that deserves consideration. Most important, it keeps the homestead rate flat. It’s worth being adopted by the House and signed into law by the governor. It’s time to move on.
The Democrats would get the needed pay-down of pensions liabilities they want and successfully avoid the use of one-time funds for ongoing education expenses. Scott and the Republicans could legitimately claim that, when you balance the tax increase with the tax rebate check, they did not raise taxes.
House lawmakers on Tuesday voted 90-51 on the governor’s second budget veto, falling short of an override and giving state leaders a week and a half to find an agreement or face a government shutdown.
Gov. Phil Scott yet again vetoed the state budget, leaving just about two weeks left before there could be a government shutdown if no deal is reached.
Another budget was passed by the General Assembly last week and is on its way to the governor’s desk, but it’s most likely destined for another veto unless lawmakers quickly find acceptable compromises.
A budget bill similar to what has already fallen once to Gov. Phil Scott’s veto pen has been passed again out of the House, by an 80-to-43 count, and is headed to the Senate chamber to be taken up on Thursday afternoon.
The problem the Democrats face is that most homeowners badly want property tax relief, and are not very receptive to appeals for sound fiscal practice. It is after all election year, and if Scott’s proposal prevails, his strong suit in November will be that “he stopped rising school property taxes.”
According to the National Education Association, we have, by far, the largest per-student investment in the country, spending twice the national average. We have a good graduation rate, but our student test scores are only two percentage points higher than the national average. It’s time to have the courage to admit we can do much more for our kids.
Gov. Phil Scott has signed H.897 that reforms the special education funding formula, moving away from a pay-per-play formula towards a census-based grant formula. But how Scott wants to use the savings has some Democrat lawmakers in a tizzy.
Vermont’s special session has the potential to steer our state in the right fiscal direction for years to come, or it could leave us with a disastrous government shutdown. Gov. Scott’s “no new taxes” pledge is on a collision course with the legislative leadership’s desire to pay down Vermont’s underfunded pension accounts.