Gov. Jim Douglas and Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie last week joined House Speaker Shap Smith and Senate President Pro Tem to announce a proposal to save $37.8 million in the fiscal year 2011 general fund budget and an estimated $72 million in fiscal year 2012.
This proposal will relieve $36 million in property tax pressure in the next two fiscal years. Importantly, it will also enable state government to better deliver services to Vermonters.
This proposal is the culmination of the work of Representatives Mike Obuchowski and Donna Sweaney, Senator Diane Snelling, Administration Secretary Neale Lunderville, Finance Commissioner Jim Reardon and the Public Strategies Group consultants throughout the fall.
"I am pleased with the collaboration between the legislature and administration through the efforts of the steering team and PSG," said Smith. "Through this process we have identified challenges that will guide our state to a delivery system that will provide better services for Vermonters."
"This collaboration is not just about saving money, it is about finding ways to do more with less and better delivering services to Vermonters," said Senator Shumlin. "Vermonters are best served when we work across party lines and branches of government and I am pleased that we have begun this important session in a spirit of cooperation."
"Vermonters expect their representatives in Montpelier to work together to confront our fiscal challenges," Dubie remarked. "The reform initiative we've announced today is the product of collaboration. It will help us achieve savings by moving the focus away from systems and processes, and refocusing on the people we serve and on the results we get. It's an innovative approach for getting our economy back on track."