Two weeks ago, Gov. Peter Shumlin used his inaugural address to lay out his legislative priority: education.
Thursday, he'll stand before the House and Senate again, and explain how the state will pay for reforms as a $50 million-$70 million budget gap looms.
"Exactly what things are going to be cut and the impact on working Vermonters, on low-income Vermonters in particular, are of interest to Progressives," said Rep. Chris Pearson, P-Burlington.
"I'm looking for the governor to show us how we're going to get through this, what we're going to do for the future, so we don't have to raise a bunch of taxes," said Rep. Don Turner, R-Milton.
Wednesday, the state economist told legislators revenue projections are likely too rosy, widening the fiscal gap.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Tim Ashe says it's the fourth straight session where they'll need to do more with less.
"Whether we're looking at the sustainability of our education fund, our transportation revenues, health care financing-- across the board we know that the revenue streams of the past are no longer adequate for the future," said Ashe, D/P-Chittenden.
In his inaugural address, the only funding specifics the governor proposed-- re-routing tax-credit dollars to pay for universal pre-K-- drew mostly negative reviews. Legislators called it a great priority, but disagree with the funding mechanism.
"It'll be hard to decipher everything in just one budget address, but making sure that there's equity across the board, I think, is the overarching goal on all those issues," Ashe said.
Somehow, the governor will need to find a way to balance the budget while coping with a range of expenses from health reform, to a transportation budget on empty. With one day to go, he hasn't offered a glimpse publicly of how he'll get it done.
The House of Representatives did pass a budget amendment to cover a $5 million hole in the current budget Wednesday. That measure now heads to the Senate for debate.
Thursday, December 12 2013 7:45 AM EST2013-12-12 12:45:10 GMT
Erika LeBlanc and Alyson Rochefort are in the kitchen with us this morning making rugelach. Dough: 1 lb unsalted butter 1 lb cream cheese 1/2 cup sour cream 4 cups all-purpose flour Filling: 1 cupMore >>
Erika LeBlanc and Alyson Rochefort are in the kitchen with us this morning making rugelach.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>