Thousands of Vermonters work at jobs that don’t pay enough to meet their families’ basic needs. That leaves Vermont taxpayers paying tens of millions of dollars to pick up the slack left by employers who pay so little that hard working men and women have to turn to public assistance. Read more
All we’ve heard from Montpelier this year, from the governor to legislative leaders, is that Vermont has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. A new analysis by the Joint Fiscal Office (JFO) shows this conventional wisdom is wrong.
The JFO data show state spending has gone down as a percentage of the economy over the last 10 years. Read more
Paul Cillo testified before the Senate Finance Committee yesterday and suggested two things we need to do to bring Vermont’s tax and budget policies into the 21st Century:
1. Acknowledge that what we’ve been doing isn’t working.
We started the 21st Century with massive federal tax cuts that were supposed to stimulate the economy, create jobs and bring prosperity to all. Read more
March 16, 2015
The Honorable Shap Smith, Speaker of the House The Honorable John Campbell, President Pro Tempore of the Senate State House 115 State Street Montpelier, VT 05633
Dear Speaker Smith and President Pro Tempore Campbell,
We’re writing with concern about the current budget situation and with a proposal for a possible solution. Read more
Montpelier is struggling to plug a state budget gap again this year—$113 million. As in the past, the preferred option is cutting Vermont’s already slashed-to-slivers state services. While austerity proponents love it, this strategy will make Vermonters more miserable, especially those who’ve seen their real incomes decline for a decade. Read more
There should be a bright side to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s frequent complaint that Vermont business owners have difficulty finding skilled workers. When there is work to be done and not enough workers, wages should go up.
That would be a good thing, and something that needs to happen in Vermont. Read more
February 11, 2015
Good morning, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee.
My name is Paul Cillo. I’m the president of Public Assets Institute. We’re a Montpelier-based nonprofit, nonpartisan, public policy think tank that was established in 2003.
For those of you who don’t know about Public Assets Institute, we analyze Vermont fiscal policy—tax, budget, and economic policy— with the ordinary Vermonter in mind. Read more
January 16, 2015 (On January 29 Paul Cillo presented essentially the same testimony to the Senate Education Committee)
Mr. Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Ranking member, members of the committee, my name is Paul Cillo. I’m the president of Public Assets Institute. We’re a nonpartisan, 501c3 nonprofit located here in Montpelier. Read more
Poverty, hunger, and homelessness are on the rise in Vermont. Meanwhile, median household income has been steadily declining since before the recession, and the gap between those at the top and everyone else is getting wider. In his budget address, Gov. Read more
There is serious talk in the Legislature about changing how we govern and fund public education in Vermont. And proposed changes could have a dramatic effect on Vermonters’ control over their schools, on who pays the bill, and on the quality of education available to our children. Read more