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School funding a priority for legislators

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copyright the Chronicle January 17, 2018


Just two weeks into the 2018 legislative session, Governor Phil Scott has given his State of the State speech, but this year’s budget address isn’t scheduled for another week.

Behind the scenes, analysts are waiting to hear numbers from the Governor, even as they scramble to figure out what the new federal budget and income tax reform may mean for Vermont, said Representative Sam Young of Glover, who sits on the Ways and Means Committee.

And lawmakers are up to their ears in committee work that’s left them — so far — with little time to figure out what’s going on outside of their committee rooms.

“We all kind of work in a vacuum, all in our own committees,” Representative Mike Marcotte of Coventry said.

Fixing school funding

If there’s one thing that Northeast Kingdom legislators seem likely to agree on, it’s that property taxes are too high, and the current system of funding for education is broken.

Representative Gary Viens of Newport summed it up in a nutshell when he said, “I certainly don’t want to hurt the education of our children, but people are pretty tapped out on taxes.”

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