The following press release was distributed by Minority Leader Don Turner on August 14, 2014.
MONTPELIER – Vermont Republican House leader Representative Don Turner (R-Milton) issued the following statement today on the budget reductions. This administration and the Democrat super majority have been spending at a rate greater than the growth in Vermont’s revenue, relying on onetime dollars, spending state reserves and growing government at an unsustainable rate since they took office four years ago. We have opposed the budgets for the last four years for this reason and have foreseen this crisis. The data will show that had budgets been limited to grow at a 3% per year rate for the last four years as we proposed, this problem would not exist. Further, reducing spending in this manner would not have been necessary since the entire legislature would have had input versus a small committee under duress.
The budget process is about making choices and we are very concerned by the choices being made by the administration and the Democrat super majority. They have hired over 600 new state employees in the last 4 years, negotiated a $24 million(all funds) pay raise for state employees, spent almost all of the state reserves, continued to rely on onetime funds for base programs and continue to spend millions on the failed Vermont Health Connect as well as the Governor’s single payer priority. Vermonters can’t afford these choices.
While addressing the immediate crisis is a good first step, now it’s time to really assess the operation of our government to ensure that we continue to use resources wisely while delivering the services that Vermonters deserve.
Vermont can not afford to continue down this path. Vermonters deserve better!
Republican Minority Leader