Public Assets Institute > Blog > Statement on Gov. Phil Scott’s Jan. 20, 2023 Budget Address

Statement on Gov. Phil Scott’s Jan. 20, 2023 Budget Address

The most memorable part of Gov. Phil Scott’s fiscal 2024 budget address had nothing to do with the budget. He ended his speech extending a hand to immigrants: “With compassion and courage, we can do our part to welcome those bold or desperate enough to leave their lives, and all they’ve ever known, behind to travel thousands of miles just to live the American dream.” It was an important message in these polarized times.

For everyone to access that American dream, we need well-funded public services. We were encouraged by the governor’s call for expanded child care services, but we need to see the details. A RAND Corporation report released last week estimated child care expansion could cost between $179 million and $279 million. The governor said additional services could be provided “without asking families with less to pay for families with more.” Does that mean he’s ready to ask families with more to pay for families with less?

Finally, we liked the way the governor framed the problem of funding 911 dispatch services. What he said really applies to all the public services Vermonters decide they need:

“So, we need to ask ourselves two basic questions before going much further: Should we provide a statewide system that all communities use? And if so, will we ask all communities to pay their share, or do we fund it all with state funds? That’s really the crux of the issue, the sticking point has always been about who pays and who doesn’t.”

Amen.

Posted by Staff on January 20, 2023 at 3:52 pm

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