The Vermont Legislature ended the first half of its biennium Tuesday night, bringing the 2013 session to a close.
The Vermont Senate adjourned at about 9:15 Tuesday evening with the House chamber following at 10:25. Legislators approved a nearly $1.4 billion state budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. Middlebury College Professor Emeritus of Political Science Eric Davis says the legislators’ work this session can be subdivided easily into three categories. First is fiscal oversight.
Davis finds policy bills were the next challenge.
Davis notes that, as always, some bills did not pass both chambers.
On the fiscal front, while some lawmakers say the new budget is balanced and contains no new taxes, there are numerous new fees including professional license fee hikes that will affect barbers, for example.
The Ethan Allen Institute is a conservative leaning think tank in Vermont. President Rob Roper says it’s good that some taxes under discussion were not passed, but expects them to come up again in the second half of the biennium.
Vermont Digger is an online investigative newspaper. Editor and Publisher Anne Galloway expects the campaign finance bill to reappear in the second half of the biennium, along with several other proposals that failed during this session.
Governor Peter Shumlin is not expected to veto any bills. The second half of the biennium begins in January.