Scott administration raises concerns about state budget

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 8:03 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2022 at 4:56 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Scott administration is raising the red flag on Vermont’s $8 billion state budget.

They say to earn Gov. Phil Scott’s support, more investments need to be made.

House lawmakers advanced their spending plan last week to the Senate.

But in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, top administration officials say changes should be made to some of the House’s priorities as the Senate now gets to work.

They’re calling on the Senate to include another $20 million for middle-income housing,

more money for economic development initiatives and action on the governor’s proposed tax relief package. That includes an expansion of the earned income tax credit, student loan deductions, military retiree tax breaks and more.

The administration is also calling for changes in pension reform, substance use funding and long-term care oversight.

The letter goes on to say the administration is ready to work with the Senate to create a budget that accommodates lawmakers and the governor’s shared priorities and maximizes the benefits of federal funds for Vermonters.

It’s worth noting that the House’s budget and the governor’s priorities are very similar.

Lawmakers are looking to wrap up the session in early May, so it could be a very dynamic end to the session as some of these spending debates are flushed out.

If these concerns aren’t addressed, Administration Secretary Kristin Clouser didn’t rule out the governor vetoing the budget.

Scott has vetoed two state budgets in the past because of tax increases and retirement benefits for teachers.

Click here to read the full letter.

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