Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Vermont Budget > Statement on Gov. Phil Scott’s Jan. 23, 2018 Budget Address

Statement on Gov. Phil Scott’s Jan. 23, 2018 Budget Address

Gov. Phil Scott laid out an ambitious agenda for state government in his second budget address. He outlined many problems facing Vermonters today, and for the most part his assessment was accurate. The state does need to address drug addiction, retirement security, environmental protection, mental illness, affordable housing, energy efficiency, job creation, equal educational opportunities, and the many other issues he cited.

It is hard to see how he can achieve all this with a spending formula that ties the growth in the state budget to Vermonters’ wages. And while we applaud his proposal to try to recruit young families to settle in here, we have to wonder how many young parents are eager to move to a state where the governor says we’re spending too much on education and wants to reduce staffing in schools.

Along with the problems Governor Scott cited, Vermont—like the rest of the nation—also has a problem with income inequality. Wage growth has been stubbornly slow, while incomes for the wealthy have grown much faster. Linking state spending to wage growth can only exacerbate the problem. When wages aren’t keeping pace with basic living expenses, Vermonters need more support from their government, not less.

Posted by Paul Cillo on January 23, 2018 at 4:12 pm

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