HOUSE SPEAKER RESPONDS TO THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET PROPOSAL

25 January 2017

First released: 24 January 2017

Contact: Katherine Levasseur (802) 828-2245 or klevasseur@leg.state.vt.us

Montpelier – House Speaker Mitzi Johnson released the following statement in response to Governor Scott's Fiscal Year 2018 budget address. 

“I am pleased that the Governor shares the goal of making affordable, safe housing a priority this legislative session. Too many working Vermonters are homeless and too many middle income families can’t afford to put down roots and invest in their own future through home ownership. We have discussed this investment for a long time and I look forward to partnering with him on this. Additionally, I applaud him for protecting vulnerable Vermonters with increased funds to address the opiate crisis and stronger investments in the state justice system to protect children and families in crisis. All Vermonters deserve a fair shot at success. By housing our working families and investing in protections for vulnerable Vermonters, we are keeping Vermont on the path to a strong, healthy economy.

I am troubled by the implications of the Governor’s Education Fund proposals. As a state, we absolutely should be thinking about how to provide equal opportunity in education for every child. We need to think about how to provide the best education in a more holistic way; however, the Governor’s proposal has serious budget implications and liabilities for Vermont property taxpayers. Our state is currently struggling to manage the costs of our preK-12 programs and the strain the funding system puts on local taxpayers.  We have always been open, and we continue to be open to new ideas to fund our education system; however until we work to continue addressing the issues with the funding system that we are currently operating under, it is irresponsible to increase the liability of this fund or to shift the liability on to the backs of hard-working Vermont teachers. We want to create a strong, healthy future for the next generation. I’m not convinced that this is the best way to accomplish that goal.”

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