by Guy Page
The Vermont Legislature will seek to adjourn today, but its members first must agree on the proposed $8.53 billion 2023-24 budget.
The budget proposal was reached after days of House/Senate conference committee negotiations. Gov. Scott proposed $8.34 billion, the House wanted $8.53 billion, and the Senate $8.51 billion.
The conference committee totals are closest to the House version, but actual spending allocations don’t necessarily reflect House priorities. For example, the conference committee agreed on the Senate’s plan to spend $9 million on pension debt fund reduction.
Also, the House also will vote on a Senate childcare funding bill this afternoon. The big-spending House paid leave bill was back-burnered until at least next year.
General Fund spending is increased from $2.1 billion this year to $2.38 billion – an increase of about 13%.