Budget Veto Response from House Caucus Chair Chesnut-Tangerman

DC politics moves to Montpelier?


Phil Scott was elected as a “down to earth” moderate. We can now safely throw those labels out the window. It is neither down to earth or moderate to demand a budget that doesn’t raise taxes, get what you asked for, praise it, and then veto it. It certainly isn’t down to earth or moderate to demand, two weeks before the end of session, that the state reach into ongoing teacher contract negotiations and fundamentally change collective bargaining with no idea of the impacts.


It is almost like he has not spent the last 16 years in the statehouse as part of the process. 


In January he slapped school boards in the face by demanding that all school budgets (already written and about to be voted on) be level funded. The legislature refused to dictate school funding levels to local communities and school boards. 


In April he slapped unions in the face by demanding that the state negotiate health insurance for educators. The legislature refused to pit working people against each other based on an unproven promise of savings.


In May he slapped the legislature in the face by promising to veto the budget which had passed the legislature 173-1 unless it included his last minute demand to overturn decades of collective bargaining practices. The legislature refused to allow the Governor to hold local communities hostage to his last minute demands. 


In June he slapped Vermonters in the face by vetoing a budget he says he supports. Here is what he vetoed:


  • Millions of dollars for water quality
  • An affordable housing bond
  • A desperately needed pay increase for mental health workers
  • Support for higher education
  • Child care subsidies
  • Rural economic development
  • A Balanced Budget


It is past time for Governor Scott to stop being so slap-happy and get down to governing!


Rep. Robin Chesnut-Tangerman

Progressive House Caucus Chair

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