Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed the fiscal year 2024 state budget on Saturday.
The governor said he can’t support the spending plan that lawmakers had passed two weeks earlier. He wrote in his veto message, in part:
“I cannot support a budget that relies on new and regressive taxes and fees, combined
with the overall increase in base spending that is far beyond our ability to sustain, especially because there is a way to achieve our shared policy goals without them.”
The legislature will return to Montpelier on June 20 for a veto session, at which an attempted override of the budget veto will now be the primary piece of business.
State Senate President Pro Tem Phil Baruth wrote on Saturday, in part:
“With one-time money subtracted, the Legislature’s budget and the Governor’s differ by about three percent — with nearly all of that difference flowing to mental health, adult-days and other critical service providers. But more crucially, this veto also freezes expanded emergency funding to municipalities and agencies being asked to provide the actual transition plans for those exiting the General Assistance housing program.“
For a second time, the governor has also struck down a charter change to allow 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to vote in Brattleboro local elections.
Scott has likewise vetoed a charter change to allow non-citizens living legally in Burlington to vote in that city’s local elections. The governor did the same thing two years ago with similar measures for Montpelier and Winooski, but lawmakers overrode both of those vetoes.
However, the governor has allowed a second Burlington charter change to become law without his signature. That second measure restores the use of ranked choice voting in mayoral elections. The Queen City used ranked choice in the 2006 and 2009 mayoral elections before narrowly repealing it in 2010.