Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Vermont Budget > A new year starts in July

A new year starts in July

July 1 marks the beginning of Vermont’s fiscal year, and our FY2015 Vermont State Budget Chartbook shows the milestones in the development of the budget for the new fiscal year. The final $5.59 billion appropriations bill for this year represents a 4.1 percent increase ($222 million) over adjusted spending for fiscal 2014. (Midway through each fiscal year, typically in January or February, the Legislature makes changes to various expenditures it had authorized in the original appropriations bill.)

In early January, Gov. Peter Shumlin proposed a budget of $5.62 billion for fiscal 2015. First the House, and then the Senate, approved spending plans that were about $30 million less than the governor’s recommendation.

Human services and education together account for nearly three-quarters of Vermont state spending each year.

Money tends to be the focus of budget discussions. That’s not a big surprise—this is a budget after all. But the purpose of the state budget is to meet Vermonters’ needs that otherwise would not be met, by ensuring that all Vermonters have access to the transportation, education, health care, and other services they need to live and work.

Budget numbers don’t begin to tell us how well the state is doing in meeting Vermonters’ needs. Maybe the state should do more than simply start its new fiscal year each July 1. Maybe our elected leaders should set July 1 as the date to also report to Vermonters on how well the state is doing in meeting their needs.

Posted by Jack Hoffman on July 7, 2014 at 4:32 pm

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