Voting on a Balanced Budget

Work at the State House is rapidly accelerating as must-pass bills move through the legislative process. Foremost amongst the House’s annual priorities is passage of the State’s budget. The House has the constitutional duty to start money bills, which must pass through the Senate in order to be considered by the Governor.

Last week, the House passed a balanced budget to fund government operations for State Fiscal Year 2018 — the period that will run from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. The budget proposes modest growth over the previous year. The General Fund’s 1.8% increase is below expected revenue growth (3.7%) and projected Gross State Product growth (2%). On the revenue side, no new revenue was proposed in this year’s tax bill.

The House budget passed on a tripartisan basis with only one “nay” vote cast out of 144 total. As you might expect, uncertainty about how Federal budget decisions will impact Vermont has prompted a cautious posture in Montpelier. The House-passed budget grows at an appropriate rate and mitigates against uncertainty by funding State reserves. Now more than ever it is important that we stand together as Vermonters. I was proud to join with members of all political parties to support the budget.

There are many other bills under consideration in Montpelier. Please be in touch if you have any comments, questions, or concerns that you’d like to address. I’m always available at dgiambatista@leg.state.vt.us or (802) 734-8841.

You can also connect with me and Representative Houghton at our next community conversation meeting. We will be meeting on Monday April 17th at 6:30pm at the Essex Senior Center located at 2 Lincoln St adjacent to the village offices.