Shumlin lays out $31 million in budget cuts
The Shumlin administration proposed $31 million in budget cuts for fiscal year 2015 to a panel of lawmakers Monday. The reduction in state spending is a response to a revised revenue outlook for the coming year.
Most of the $31 million in savings is achieved through cuts to external programs -- grants and level-funding Medicaid reimbursements.
A proposal to level-fund Medicaid cuts about $10 million. A projected drop in the caseload at the Department for Children and Families amounts to a spending reduction of about $3.8 million, and will not come at the expense of new social worker positions the administration announced in June. The positions are needed to provide support for young children who have been victims of abuse.
Smaller bites across state government make up the rest of the $31 million. The administration will not fill vacancies in positions in state government, including a seat on the Superior Court.
State employees, however, are untouched by the rescissions, and, according to a Shumlin official, were not interested in reopening their contract with the state to discuss furloughs or salary concessions.
The administration also proposes to rescind a 1 percent increase to appropriations for the University of Vermont, the Vermont Student Assistance Corp. and the Vermont State Colleges.
A panel of lawmakers has 72 hours to decide whether to accept the plan. A public hearing will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Ethan Allen room at the Statehouse.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.