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- Gov. Shumlin, legislative leaders announce balanced budget target; no tax increases
Gov. Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith, Senate President
Pro Tem John Campbell and key legislative leaders announced May 7
an agreement to avoid raising taxes on Vermonters, and instead
focus on spending cuts and efficiencies to achieve a balanced
budget for the state.
"We have an agreement among leadership that
will allow for a timely adjournment of this session - an agreement
that is right for Vermonters now," the Governor said. "Balancing
our budget this session with no additional taxes will help keep our
state on a strong path of economic recovery."
"When we entered this session, we were in a different place,"
said Speaker Smith. "We were facing significant uncertainty
regarding the federal sequester. We received a revenue downgrade
just as we entered the session. Now, fortunately, the picture is
brighter. Our economy is stronger; we have better certainty
regarding the effects of the federal cuts; we have a lower
unemployment rate and a hopeful future. I am confident that we can
achieve our goals of increasing public safety, improving state
infrastructure, and investing in the well-being of Vermonters
within the current revenues."
"This agreement represents closure on
the question of how to balance our FY2014 budget, while
accomplishing many of the important goals of this productive
session - on public safety, infrastructure investments, and our
education system, among others," said President Pro Tem Campbell.
"I believe that we can and should meet those challenges through our
current revenue framework."
Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees will
focus on reducing state spending by about $10 million through cuts
and efficiencies, eliminating the need for any additional tax
Noting that the legislature has passed or is poised to pass a
number of important initiatives, the Governor said, "This session
has been incredibly productive. We are doing the hard work to
improve our education system, create jobs, and ensure prosperity
for all Vermonters. I am grateful to the legislature for their
efforts this session."