The Latest: Governor vetoes second budget bill
ELMORE, Vt. (AP) — The Latest on Vermont budget standoff (all times local):
Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed a second budget bill.
In a letter sent Thursday to the state House clerk, Scott said he couldn’t support the budget bill without a commitment from legislative leaders that the state “can achieve level property tax rates” or an amendment that would prevent a nonresidential property tax increase.
Scott says if lawmakers don’t agree with him, they can vote to override the veto.
House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tern Tim Ashe call the governor’s veto “disappointing.”
The state government will shut down July 1 if there’s no budget approved. Scott says his administration hasn’t outlined a contingency plan to determine which portions of state government would remain operational during a shutdown.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott will likely veto a second budget bill, but says he will see if Democratic lawmakers offer last-minute solutions.
Scott has until the end of day Thursday to decide whether to veto the second budget bill. Democratic leaders in the Senate said they cannot change the bill they passed last week, and that Scott either needs to sign the bill or let it become law without his signature.
The state government will shut down July 1 if there is no budget approved. Scott said his administration has not outlined a contingency plan to determine which portions of state government will remain operational during a shutdown. Scott says he still hopes Democrats in the Legislature will sign onto his plan.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s administration says it stands firmly behind a plan to avoid raising taxes, despite concerns of a government shutdown.
In a letter to Scott and Democratic leaders sent Tuesday, state Treasurer Beth Pearce urged the two sides to find a solution to avert a shutdown. Pearce said that a shutdown would have “real and permanent costs,” and could jeopardize the state’s credit rating.
Scott’s Secretary of Administration Susanne Young responded to Pearce’s letter Thursday, saying that Scott will continue to oppose any budget bill that would result in a property tax increase. Young also blamed Democratic leaders for passing a budget bill they “know he would not sign.”
Young added that a last-minute budget last year did not affect the state’s credit rating.
Vermont lawmakers have less than three weeks to approve a budget and avert a government shutdown.
Republican Gov. Phil Scott has announced his intention to veto the second budget bill approved by the Legislature last Thursday. The budget bill was initially floated as a compromise that would keep the state funded, but Scott said he cannot approve the bill because it includes a nonresidential property tax increase.
In a letter to Scott and Democratic leaders, State Treasurer Elizabeth Pearce urged the two sides to find a solution. Pearce said that a shutdown would have “real and permanent costs,” and could jeopardize the state’s credit rating.
The Vermont State Employee Association requested bargaining with the state to determine what would happen during a government shutdown.