Tuesday Governor Scott gave his budget address. While he should be applauded for suggesting many important initiatives such as additional funding for early child care, Vermont state colleges and adult non-degree training; expanding our home electronic monitoring system to reduce correctional costs and adding funding to the St Albans treatment center and suggesting a $35m housing bond to move towards fixing our housing shortage - I am a bit concerned regarding his suggested changes to the education fund, level funding education budgets and moving to a one time special vote on May 23rd for all school budgets. I will be meeting with Judy DeNova, the CCSU superintendent next week and the education committee will begin hearing testimony on all the Governor's suggested changes. Senate bill S.46 was introduced yesterday and can be read here.
The topics affecting our healthcare committee were not many. He suggested reducing payments to hospitals by 10% and eliminating the state as middle man to those buying healthcare directly from commercial carries. The healthcare committee will begin reviewing once we have the proposed budget. In the budget address was also an unspecified savings from the Agency of Human Services which we will review.
A key takeaway from the budget address, for me, was to "think differently". That is one of the reasons I ran to represent Essex Junction and hopefully one of the reasons you voted for me. We need a fresh, open minded look at state government. I will continue to be open minded, question current processes/policy and move away from making decisions in a silo by thinking about the entire system and unintended consequences made by our decisions.
You can listen to and read the Governor's address here.
As always I want to hear from you. Please reach out if you have any questions or comments.
Thank you for reading!