Vermont House Passes 2012 Budget

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(Host) The Vermont House wrapped up debate on the 2012 state budget Friday evening and approved the bill 95-34.

Lawmakers considered more than a dozen amendments. But the House largely agreed with the proposal written by the Appropriations Committee.

Barre Independent Paul Poirier proposed several alternatives designed to preserve spending on a variety of social programs.

(Poirier) "The issue in front of us is about trying to provide services to the people that are being hit the hardest."

(Host) At one point, Poirier proposed taking money from the state’s rainy day fund to make up for cuts in health programs.

Another amendment would have diverted money to mental health agencies.

South Hero Democrat Mitzi Johnson says the Appropriations Committee tried to balance difficult choices in a tight budget year.

(Johnson) "We did partially restore many of these cuts that were initially proposed by the governor."

(Host) You can follow debates when the legislature is in session at vpr-dot-net.


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