The head of the Senate Appropriations Committee says she doesn’t believe it’s possible to make additional cuts in this year’s budget. Meanwhile, the state’s Emergency Board has voted to reduce revenue projections for the current fiscal year by another $15 million. The action marks the third time this year that revenue projections have been revised downward.
Senator Susan Bartlett of Lamoille County says there are other ways to reduce overall state spending in the short term. Bartlett wants to postpone any additional cuts until the public has an opportunity to comprehensively review possible spending changes for next year:
(Bartlett) “The public is just beginning to be aware of the impact. I think it’s really important for Vermonters to understand what the choices are, and the implications of the choices, and then we have a choice as a whole: we can decide to eliminate services or we can decide to increase revenues. We need to have the time for people to have the information to make the choices.”
The Legislature is scheduled to consider the supplemental budget bill in the next few weeks. The proposal is expected to contain at least $35 million in cuts to this year’s budget.