No payroll tax for childcare, Scott says

Vetoes $120 million childcare bill, override vote expected June 20

By Guy Page

Gov. Phil Scott yesterday vetoed a $120 million childcare bill because it relies on a slippery-slope payroll tax and ignores a cheaper, but still effective plan set forth by his administration. 

H217 would subsidize childcare centers and spend more on pre-K in public schools. At his press conference yesterday, Scott stressed that he wants Vermont to become the #1 childcare spender among the 50 states. 

His administration’s plan to allocate $56 million from existing revenue sources would raise family eligibility to four times the federal poverty level – the highest in the nation, he claimed. A family of four could earn $105,000 and still qualify, he said. 

But what Scott won’t stand for is funding childcare via a payroll tax. 

“The payroll tax itself has never been used this way before,” he said. “Once the door’s open, it takes a little bit out of everyone’s pocket, they will be going back to the well time and time again.”

A payroll tax is especially unfair when the Legislature could have spent some of the large surplus, he added. 

Other bills vetoed by Scott and subject to possible override at the June 20-22 Special Session of the Legislature are:

S.6, juvenile crime 

S.39, legislative pay increase

H.386, underage voting in Brattleboro 

H.494, state budget

H.509, non-citizen voting in Burlington

S.5, Clean Heat Standard, was overridden by the Legislature last month. 

Sen. Phil Baruth promised to override the veto: 

“Phil Scott’s veto of this year’s historic childcare bill comes as no surprise, unfortunately. During his years in office, the Governor has talked about the need to expand and enrich our childcare offerings, but he has never been willing to address the problem at the scale it demands. H.217 represents an authentic, long-term solution to our childcare crisis by helping parents afford care and helping caregivers afford to stay in their profession. 

“Fortunately, overwhelming majorities in the House and Senate have made it clear that the Governor’s rhetoric on this issue will not be the last word. This bill will be our number one priority for the veto override session, at which time we will speak loudly, in the only way that matters in the end. We will vote to end the childcare deserts in our state, and we will vote to pay childcare professionals a respectable wage. Vermont’s kids can’t wait any longer.”

House Speaker Jill Krowinski added:

“The Governor vetoed a bill that would have cost an individual Vermonter, earning the median wage less than $1.00 dollar per week. That is a truly significant benefit for Vermonters at a minimal cost. This bill, along with base funding invested in the budget vetoed by the Governor, would allow for increases in child care subsidies, which would provide for families to find and afford quality care while guaranteeing higher wages for early childhood educators and staff.”

Categories: Legislation

12 replies »

  1. This veto is well deserved. The Rand report itself outlined a program that costs way too much on a per student basis. It would be much cheaper to just write checks to the families that need help. Setting up an expanded state run union controlled social services apparatus is the goal. Helping families is just the pretext.

  2. Thank you Gov. Scott. All these items deserved the veto pen.

  3. The underling thread here is that everyone is apparently on board with the idea that taking care of our kids is for sure in the government’s arena. It’s just a question of the how details and how much. The idea that the government should not be in this business that it shouldn’t remain in the private domain has apparently been extinguished. The camel’s-nose-in-the-tent has become such a woefully inadequate image for our predicament…hasn’t it? The government is primary and the liberty of the individual citizen fades away.

    • Yes. That’s part of why Gov Scott is such a disappointment. Sure, he vetoes a new tax, but he’s all on board with the radical social agenda and with the ever expanding role of government. He only wants to quibble about how it gets paid for. Doesn’t want to tackle the bigger issues that would require someone to stand on principle.

      • His job is to obfuscate the Republicans/Conservatives. He is neither.

    • The marxist view on this issue comes from Marx himself:
      “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions.”
      As to phil scott’s view, that’s for you to decide.
      baruth and krowinski have made their views well known: they are marxists, cloaked in “democratic socialism”.
      The bombast and continued hubris from the legislative leadership clearly shows the direction of Vermont’s politics policies and economy- and these people will not accept reality nor any viewpoint other than their own marxist ideology.

  4. The government just wants to indoctrinate your children earlier, it’s not because they care. If they cared they wouldn’t have legislated so much red tape for day cares to begin with which (unsurprisingly) in just a decade destroyed the industry and made it prohibitively expensive, not just for the business but for the parents. This led to less choice and an easier takeover.

    STOP letting the government regulate industries in the name of “Safety”.

    Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Scott didn’t veto H.230 which wasn’t a big surprise, more gun regulations from a guy who said on camera at a gun show that he wouldn’t change gun laws and signed a paper saying he wouldn’t.

    This guy is a Democrat with an R after his name, it actually stands for Rigged as in elections.

  5. “large surplus”??

    Doesn’t Vermont still owe the State employee pension fund about $8-9 BILLION?

  6. Why is the government involved in childcare? I don’t believe that it is any of their business. Once they pay for something, then they want to run it and decide how it’s run. Why would that be a good thing?

  7. Some may label him RINO, but I am grateful to have a Governor who sticks to his original message of when he was first put in office: VERMONT IS INCREASINGLY UNAFFORDABLE….and yet a majority of us keep voting for these demoprog clowns who dont seem to get that message.