Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Vermont Budget > Fiscal 2017 Budget Forum Webinars

Fiscal 2017 Budget Forum Webinars

The Shumlin Administration will hold two public budget forums via webinar on Monday, November 23, 2015.

For details about how to participate, go to: Citizens can also weigh in on the budget process through an online survey. These are new strategies for gathering public input and we hope they will allow more Vermonters to participate.







Legislation passed in 2012 required that the administration “develop a process for public participation in the development of budget goals, as well as general prioritization and evaluation of spending and revenue initiatives.” Public input before the start of the legislative session can be an important part of the budget process. This is when the governor is putting together his budget recommendations.

People need to weigh in with the Legislature, too, once the governor has made his budget recommendations to the Legislature in January. But since the Legislature doesn’t typically change the governor’s budget recommendation much, the governor’s recommendation really sets the state’s fiscal priorities. That’s why it’s important for Vermonters to speak up is before the governor makes his decisions.

We encourage all Vermonters to participate in the budget process. There are a number of questions that can help us better understand the choices we’re making, such as:

  • How will the administration’s budget proposal improve the “economic well-being” of Vermonters as it is required to do in statute?
  • What are the current needs of Vermonters for state services?
  • What is the gap between what agencies actually need to provide the services the state is currently committed to provide and current funding?
  • In their reports to the administration, what did agencies indicate would be the impact of a level-funded budget on services in fiscal 2017?
  • What has been the cumulative impact of budget reductions on state services over the past 10 years?

If the administration publicly addressed these questions and others that you may have, it would make the budget conversation much more meaningful to Vermonters.


Posted by Stephanie Yu on November 20, 2015 at 5:38 pm

One Response to “Fiscal 2017 Budget Forum Webinars”

  1. It is not up to the citizens of Vermont to come up with a needs based budget. This should be the responsibility of the administrations fiscal managers. How do you come up with the needs for transportation? You query your field workers and get the best estimate you can from their input and then let the public know how much of the “need” you can address that year. Shouldn’t the administration also do this for human services? This is the process mandated under Sec.E.100.1(and .2) of 32 V.S.A.&306a as added by Act 162 of 2012. We, the citizens of Vermont need to know that you are basing the Human Services Budget just as you do other parts of the State budget on real numbers gathered not by surveys such as the one just taken, but by real data as collected by human service providers. This should include input by the AAA’s, the community action agencies, the mental health agencies, disability agencies, correctional facilities, unemployment figures, etc. Then you and the legislature need to raise additional monies through progressive taxation of those most able to pay; the 1 and 2% of those most able to do so, by increasing taxes on assets other than land and unearned income and by cutting back on the amount of money that large taxpayers can deduct as charitable donations. Income inequality is a state issue as well as a national/international issue. If low income folks can not earn enough to pay their current bills, they also will not be able to pay for goods and services provided by corporations and small businesses.
    We all live on this planet together. We don’t need the “democratic socialism” of President Eisenhower, 90% tax on the highest bracket, but we do need to change the equation so that ALL can live comfortably in this the best Country, and the best State in our Country. Maryalice Bisbee