Winooski, VT — Democratic Candidate for Governor James Ehlers issued the following statement regarding the passage of a Vermont state budget and the negotiation process today:
“Like many Vermonters, I am relieved that the government of Vermont didn’t shut down when there was a budget passed by the legislature with tri-partisan support. And yet, it never should have gotten to this point. The failed and damaging ideology of trickle-down economics has been pushed in a manipulative and irresponsible way. The use of one-time funds to pay down the tax rate in the budget will still lead to steep rate rises in the future, and still prevents sufficiently investing in our natural resources, infrastructure and one another.
“We should be able to deliver a budget that fits with Vermont’s values without threatening a shutdown to endanger the livelihoods of state employees and the wellbeing of Vermonters. As governor, I will prioritize protecting and expanding childcare, investing in rural communities and low-income earning families, and protecting healthcare for our state workers.
“The budget bill also contains a provision to study Vermont’s tax system. As governor, I will work with the legislature to craft a fair system wherein corporations and the most affluent pay their fair share—and working families don’t struggle to make ends meet. So long as we have a governor who believes in slashing funding to public schools, attacking unions and protecting big corporations at all costs, we won’t find solutions that propel Vermont forward sustainably.
“The future that we want to see for Vermont is in our grasp—but we need to get away from shortsighted governance that cuts and slashes at all costs. As governor, I will work with legislators, not against them, to create a budget that improves quality of life for Vermonters—without threatening a shutdown.”