Vt. revenue forecasts on track but budget uncertainty looms large

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) State administration officials say revenue forecasts are on track for the new fiscal year, but that the Trump administration's budget cutting plans continue to leave many unanswered questions.

Vermont Finance Commissioner Adam Greshin was among those addressing members of the legislative Joint Fiscal Committee Thursday at the Statehouse. With general fund revenues about $500,000 higher than forecast, he says the state budget is in good shape.

"Revenues have been on track, and we're happy about that. We've had years when they, in fact, have not been. They're tracking along almost exactly as anticipated," Greshin said.

He says the continuing resolution deal reached in Washington last week to finance the federal government until mid-December takes immediate pressure off impending budget cuts that could hurt Vermont's bottom line. The deal also prompted state legislative leaders last week to cancel a planned October special session that would have dealt with those cuts.

From Medicaid to transportation spending, Greshin says the single most important factor in Vermont's budget is what happens in Washington.

"You can look across state government and you'll see the federal footprint looms pretty large," he said.

Staff from Vermont's three-member congressional delegation also took questions from committee members about the implications of new GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare, and Trump administration tax reform plans. Included in their report was news that federal LIHEAP fuel assistance funding is likely to be level funded.