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Flap in Montpelier over Vt. budget - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Flap in Montpelier over Vt. budget

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

A flap over the budget in Montpelier.The governor and some Vermont lawmakers agree on the figures in his budget, but not the one the governor chose to express the increase in spending in his proposal.

In his budget address, the governor said the General Fund would increase about 3.5 percent over last year. But that's without counting money used to fill holes created by the loss of one-time federal recovery dollars.

Some legislators say there's no reason not to count that money. They say the actual increase in spending is about five percent.

Both the Governor and his critics say the proper amount of spending is what's important, not how the numbers are crunched.

"We're on the right track. We've made smart investments in this budget. It's financially and fiscally sustainable. It protects those that need it the most and it protectsVermont taxpayers," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.

"Vermonters paychecks aren't growing as fast as we're growing the state budget. With that said, we need to find ways to rein in that spending," said Rep. Don Turner, R-Vt.House Minority Leader.

Turner says he'd like to see the pace of budget growth slowed over the next three years.

The governor responded to questions about how he could criticize school supervisory unions for growth rates similar to his own proposal by saying Vermonters need more services, but school enrollments are slipping.

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