Turner calls 'yes' vote a mistake

Published: Jun. 23, 2018 at 7:33 PM EDT
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A late Friday night in Montpelier has one lawmaker saying he cast the wrong vote.

"Very disappointing, very discouraging we were there until after midnight," House Minority Leader Don Turner said.

Turner says he made a mistake. Now, the Republican is asking for a reconsideration after he voted "yes" for the proposed state budget during what he calls a chaotic Friday night.

"If you vote in the affirmative on a bill, which again, I will tell Vermonters I made a mistake, I did it and I inadvertently did that," Turner said. "I thought we were talking about something else because of the craziness of the day and everything going on, and the speaker said we voted on the bill."

But it wasn't the bill he says he thought he was supporting. Turner says an amendment he submitted to compromise on nonresidential tax rates wasn't in the bill.

"We're in a frustrating situation where everybody feels like the other side hasn't given enough and they've given too much," House Speaker Mitzi Johnson said.

Johnson agrees Friday was a long day for elected officials with many changes were made throughout Friday’s session.

"Things are moving quickly, I understand people's frustrations. I understand that some people feel like plans were changing. That's what happens in negotiations. That's what happens when you're dealing with multiple parties and multiple interests. It's not just a one-on-one discussion," Johnson said.

The Democrat says she plans to speak with Turner to figure out a path forward on Monday.

"I think it's really important for Vermonters that we buckle down and get this done, that's my main goal," she said.

"We're working really hard for Vermonters and Vermont taxpayers," Turner said.

Turner says compromises will likely have to be made on both sides. Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, vetoed the last two budgets sent to his desk. Increased taxes have constantly been the sticking point throughout the budget process.

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