MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) A third budget plan passed by Vermont lawmakers Monday still includes a nonresidential property tax rate increase-- something Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, has steadfastly opposed. And one of the reasons he vetoed the last two budgets.
But lawmakers hustled to deliver this one to his desk anyway.
"We're not happy where we're at. We think the governor's probably not happy where we're at, but I think for everyone involved it's time to move on," said Sen. Tim Ashe, P/D-Chittenden County.
House Clerk Bill MaGill delivered the budget to the governor's office at 3 p.m. That could be significant. In Vermont, a bill becomes law without the governor's signature within five days of it landing on his or her desk. That would get us to Saturday, June 30-- one day before a potential government shutdown.
"He could allow it to become law without his signature and not break any campaign promises that he had made and still keep government open, which is the right thing to do," said Rep. Mitzi Johnson, D-Vt. House Speaker.
Johnson says a third veto could lead directly to a government shutdown Sunday.
"I don't think there's a reasonable amount of time for a third veto," Johnson said.
Ashe says the governor and lawmakers can do battle again in the future but Vermonters need a state budget now.
"Let this become law," Ashe said. "Signal to the public there's gonna be no shutdown. Everybody moves on. We live to fight another day for next year's budget."
A spokeswoman for the governor said he plans to make his intentions clear quickly but did not offer a specific timeline.