The State budget was the primary focus this past week at the State House. Vermont’s annual budget funds operations from July 1 until June 30 of the following year. Each legislative session begins in January, at the mid-point of the fiscal year, which allows lawmakers and the administration’s finance officials to review where the state’s revenues and expenditures stand.

The House is the legislative body tasked with originating money bills. The committee that manages the budget (Appropriations) advanced their annual “budget adjustment” bill on Thursday. The bill will move to the floor for debate next week, where the House will tweak the FY2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019) state budget to keep things in balance. In other words, the state will adjust our budget just like a person would at home based on changes to their income, spending, and saving goals.

The start of the House’s budget adjustment process coincided with our first look at Governor’s FY2020 budget proposal. The Governor presented his budget to the House and Senate on Thursday. We have already begun digging into the details. Ultimately, the Governor and General Assembly will need to work together to reach consensus on a balanced budget before we adjourn in May.

There are a lot of issues in play as the session quickly moves into February. Unfortunately, last week’s community coffee meeting had to be rescheduled due to heavy snow. I will be joining Reps. Houghton, Myers and Redmond for a community coffee this Sunday, January 27th at 2:00pm. We will meet at Nest Coffee and Bakery. Please join us if you have any topics you’d like to discuss. I look forward to seeing you soon.