New data show Vermont’s problem is revenue, not spending

Posted by Jack Hoffman on April 6, 2015 at 12:06 pm | Comments (0)

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

Perennial budget gaps mean our policies aren’t working

Posted by Sarah Lyons on March 26, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Comments (0)

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

Letter to Legislative Leaders: Budget Cuts Unnecessary

Posted by Sarah Lyons on March 16, 2015 at 4:51 pm | * Comments (1)

PDF Version

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

2016 state budget: Cuts won’t fix the problem

Posted by Paul Cillo on March 5, 2015 at 4:41 pm | * Comments (2)

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

Vermont’s economic growth is not widely shared

Posted by Jack Hoffman on February 19, 2015 at 2:31 pm | * Comments (1)

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

Testimony to House Commerce Committee – 02/11/15

Posted by Sarah Lyons on February 11, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Comments (0)

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

Testimony to House Education Committee – 01/16/15

Posted by Sarah Lyons on January 16, 2015 at 5:54 pm | * Comments (4)

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

Statement on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s Fiscal 2016 Budget Address

Posted by Paul Cillo on January 15, 2015 at 5:32 pm | * Comments (1)

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

Are your school taxes a problem?

Posted by Paul Cillo on December 19, 2014 at 4:14 pm | Comments (0)

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

Paul Cillo: Opening Remarks, vtdigger School Funding Panel

Posted by Paul Cillo on December 16, 2014 at 5:12 pm | * Comments (2)

December 11, 2014, Capitol Plaza Hotel, Montpelier Opening remarks

Vtdigger asked the members of this panel to propose solutions to the “K-12 education affordability crisis.” I want to focus the limited time in my opening remarks on one question: What crisis? Read more