For the first time, the people of Vermont had an opportunity to take part in the process of developing the state’s budget. Based on a new legal provision won by the People’s Budget Campaign in the 2012 legislative session, the Governor is now required to create and support a process of public participation in the development of budget and revenue policy. The People’s Budget Campaign put forward a detailed proposal for implementing this requirement. Yet instead of taking up the Campaign’s ideas, the Administration limited participation to two statewide public hearings.
On November 13 and 19, 2012, people were invited to view a budget presentation by the Administration and to discuss spending priorities. People’s Budget Campaign members turned out in force and demanded a more meaningful process of participation. They also made clear that they are no longer supporting the current paradigm of developing the budget based only on an assessment of current revenue, not on an assessment of people’s needs.
Carolyn Drumstra testifies at the budget hearing on November 19, 2012. The Secretary of Administration and the Finance Commissioner struggle for an answer to her question.
Dave Przepioski’s answer to the Administration’s survey form, which required people to choose between health care and education, a healthy environment and jobs, and other priorities.
Both hearings have been recorded on video in their entirety, including the presentation by the Administration. Watch each of the two-hour hearings here.