Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Education > Press Release: Vermonters Would Pay More with Governor’s Budget Cuts

Press Release: Vermonters Would Pay More with Governor’s Budget Cuts


Paul Cillo or Jack Hoffman
Public Assets Institute

MONTPELIER – Vermont would lose millions of dollars in federal funding, more costs would be shifted onto the property tax, and vulnerable Vermonters would be squeezed even harder under the Douglas administration’s latest budget proposal.

The plan would begin the process of dismantling the state’s education funding system, currently the most stable and sustainable program in state government. And it also would eviscerate the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, turning it into a pass-through for federal funds rather than the catalyst for affordable housing and land conservation it has been for more than 20 years.

These are among the findings of Public Assets Institute’s new report, Vermonters Would Pay More with Governor’s Budget Cuts, on the budget proposed by the Douglas administration last week. The governor has threatened to veto the budget passed by the Legislature earlier this month. The governor laid out his alternate plan, but so far the Legislature has shown little interest in the new proposal. Instead, legislative leaders are trying to secure the votes they would need to override a gubernatorial veto.

“The administration’s latest plan doesn’t reduce spending so much as it simply pushes costs of services on others, particularly many of Vermont’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Paul Cillo, president of Public Assets Institute. “This plan is more of an accounting exercise than a policy document. Who but a bean-counter would cut $15 million in health care services for the poor in order to save $4.5 million in the General Fund budget?”

In addition to losing federal Medicaid funds, Vermonters would forgo another $14 million to $16 million in federal funds that would be tied to the proposed cuts.

The Public Assets Institute report also challenges the administration’s assertions that education spending has “skyrocketed” in Vermont and the transfers to the Education Fund have been gobbling up a greater and greater share of the General Fund budget.

“Education spending as a share of the Vermont economy has been flat for nearly 20 years, and the General Fund’s share of education costs has been flat for the last eight year.” Cillo said. “The administration talks about sustainable spending. Vermont’s education spending is sustainable.”

Public Assets Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that promotes sound budget and tax policies to benefit all Vermonters. Additional information is available at


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