As I'm sure everyone knows the Governor vetoed the budget (H518), the state education tax rate bill (aka Yield Bill H509) and S22 the marijuana bill at the end of the regular session. We returned to the statehouse Wednesday to attempt to override the vetoes (which were sustained) then moved on to pass new legislation. Summaries of each are below.
The budget bill (H542) passed yesterday is identical to the version the House and Senate passed on May 18th and vetoed by the Governor, except for three technical amendments. A few highlights of the budget:
Additionally the state education tax rate legislation (originally passed as H509) was added to the budget as an amendment rather than having a separate bill. This bill sets the tax rates for the next fiscal year and has legislation regarding the savings achieved from school employees healthcare plans. Below are the highlights of the passed legislation:
This bill originally began in the Senate so they took up the bill first yesterday. They added language agreed upon with the Governor and voted the bill out. However, rules had to be suspended in the House for us to take up the bill. That vote failed. There is no marijuana legislation this year. I suspect it will be discussed again next session.
So what did I think of the end of session and the veto session? A colleague on the House floor said it well last night "politics got in the way of leadership". I was dismayed at the closed door negotiations the past few weeks and hope that is not a sign of the future. I'm also saddened that teachers were pitted against tax payers. We should be uniting our communities not dividing them. But at the end of the day we have a fiscally responsible budget with tri-partisan support. For that I am very proud of our small state!
If anyone has specific questions or wants to talk, please reach out. 373-0599 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Rep Giambatista and I will be available to meet on June 28th at Nest Coffee & Bakery on Main St from 8:30am to 9:30am. Hope you can join our conversation!
Thank you for allowing me to serve Essex Junction! Have a great summer!
6/24/2017 09:18:32 am
Thank you Lori for all the hard work this session. You and Dylan returned the village to the thoughtful, balanced leadership we had in the legislature prior to 2015. I agree that the closed door bargaining could and should have been done in the open without a special session. A truly important piece of the budget was increasing support to the VSC so that Vermont students continue to enjoy great colleges in-state. You have both also been great communicators during the session so we knew what was happening..
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