HOUSE LEADERS CALL ON GOV. SCOTT TO PRESENT RESPONSIBLE BUDGET PROPOSALS

15 March 2017

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

MONTPELIER, VT - Today, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson joined House Majority Leader Representative Jill Krowinski, Appropriations Committee chair Representative Kitty Toll, and the Ways & Means Committee chair, Representative Janet Ancel, to remind Governor Scott that Vermonters expect him to present responsible budget proposals.

The Governor’s January budget proposal shifted costs onto the backs of property taxpayers.  Though the Governor asked local communities to level-fund their school budgets, voters last week sent a clear message to the Governor when they rejected his proposal by passing 90% of school budgets across the state.  Legislators are working to build a solution that will grow Vermont’s economy without hurting the most vulnerable in our state or balancing the state budget on local property taxes.

The Governor promised Vermonters that he was ready to come to the table after Town Meeting week, but he continues to avoid the discussions. With only six legislative days left before the Appropriations Committee must vote out the budget bill, time is running out for Governor Scott to honor his commitment.

Just yesterday, the Appropriations Committee sent a memo inviting the Governor to join their conversation. They have not yet received a response. “We’ve done the work to close $52 million of the budget gap. We are asking the Governor to come back to the table to work with us to close the last $18 million,” said Appropriations Chair Kitty Toll.

Governor Scott’s proposal to increase property taxes by $50 million was irresponsible. The House remains committed to closing the budget gap in a way that will promote healthy communities, a strong economy, vibrant future for Vermont.

Speaker Johnson acknowledged that, “In every budget cycle, Governor’s stick with their original proposals for a period, but after the soundbites fade, they get down to work with the legislature to develop a plan that works for Vermonters. We’re now at that point, and Vermonters expect all of us to come to the table and work together.”

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