3-20-15 – Who Has Common Sense Under the Dome?

22 legislators put forward Joint resolution (JRH 10) calling for a level funded state budget – no tax increases, no new programs, and no expanded eligibility for existing programs until the $96 to $130 million structural deficit the state has racked up is fixed.

A refreshing bit of common sense! The resolution is short, so here it is in its entirety:

Whereas, the State’s financial outlook for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2016 (beginning July 1, 2015) is grim, and

Whereas, were the General Assembly to appropriate money to maintain General Fund spending in FY 2016 at current service levels, the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) now projects a shortfall of $113.2 million would result, and

Whereas, JFO also estimates that from FY 2017–2020 the comparable annual General Fund shortfall would range from $96 to $130 million, and

Whereas, it is imperative that the State of Vermont reorder its budgetary priorities and adopt a far more restrained approach to General Fund expenditures, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly must follow these budgetary principles in adopting the FY 2016 General Fund budget:

First: General Fund appropriations will be level funded based on the FY 2015 postrecession level;

Second: No new State programs will be started as Vermont cannot afford the current State programs;

Third: No current program’s eligibility base should be expanded, including property tax payments based on income sensitivity, LIHEAP funding, and Vermont Health Connect subsidization;

Fourth: The Governor’s proposal to add approximately $25 million in new health spending, requiring a new revenue source, is not fiscally sustainable;

Fifth: If a new State government position is absolutely necessary, it should only be established if a current position is eliminated, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Finance, and to Governor Peter Shumlin.

Sponsors of the Resolution are Representatives Bob Bancroft (R-Westford), Fred Baser (R-Bristol), Lynn Batchelor (R-Derby), Paul Dame (R-Essex), Lynn Dickinson (R-St. Albans Town), Anne Donahue (R-Northfield), Doug Gage (R-Rutland City), Mariana Gamache (R-Swanton), Mark Higley (R-Lowell), Ron Hubert (R-Milton), Rob LaClair (R-Barre Town), Lefebvre of Newark, Linda Martin (D-Wolcott), Mary Morrissey (R-Bennington), Linda Myers (R –Essex), Corey Parent (R-St. Albans City), Connie Quimby (R-Concord), Vicki Strong (R-Albany), Tom Terenzini (R-Rutland Town), Don Turner (R-Milton), Gary Viens (R-Newport City), and Jansen Willhoit (R-St. Johnsbury)

Is your representative(s) on the list?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ron Rogers March 20, 2015 at 7:00 pm

Good job to all of you. I hope this gains some tractions.


Kim March 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm

The state needs to take it’s cue from those of us who must maintain a household budget. When revenues do not meet expenditures then you stop spending. Period


Ken Swierad March 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Thank you Mary Morrsey, appreciate it. You have to do just like a family would, cut expenses. No more income means lowering you expenses not taking out the charge card.


Jayson casavant March 24, 2015 at 4:08 pm

An interesting solution that is apparently not bring taken seriously by the group seeking 35 million in new taxes.

We are not interested in capping the rate of growth we want to reverse the growth. Seeking creative approaches to tax the rich and middle class is NOT what we want.


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