As expected, Gov. Phil Scott’s budget address (video/text) was a rollicking affair full of new and expanded programs and tax relief that he touts as providing “transformational” change for Vermont. Yep, these budgets are a lot easier when they’re floating on a sea of federal Covid funds, plus vastly inflated state tax revenues thanks to the purchasing power injected by the feds into Vermont.
To his credit, Scott cautioned that we can’t spend willy-nilly. He said this is a once-in-a-lifetime windfall, and thus a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reset and strengthen Vermont’s economy. “The economic future of our state will be defined by what we do today,” he said at the end of his address. And he warned against spending one-time money for ongoing expenses. “These are one-time funds for one-time challenges.”
Do his proposals match his sweeping rhetoric? In part, but not in full.Continue reading