April McCullum Free Press Staff Writer Published 9:35 p.m. UTC May 30, 2018 MONTPELIER Vermont lawmakers are considering a new plan that would keep state government running even if they cannot resolve the tax standoff with Gov. Phil Scott. Crucially, the bill also provides a back-up plan if Vermont fails to decide a homestead education tax rate by July 1. Scott vetoed the state budget and tax bills Friday because he does not want to see any increase in property tax rates. The new bill is an attempt by Democratic leaders to pass a budget and some tax-related items while temporarily side-stepping the controversy. More: Vermont tax standoff: How Gov. Scott and lawmakers got to this impasse "The purpose of it is to take the specter, the threat of a government shutdown off the table," said Rep. Janet Ancel, D-Calais, the chairwoman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. The new bill has already stirred up … [Read more...] about Vermont Legislature moves to avoid a government shutdown — but not resolve the standoff
The Capitol Dome is seen at dawn in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House, Saturday, May 26, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has warned Congress that he will never sign another foot-tall, $1 trillion-plus government-wide spending bill like the one he did in March. His message to lawmakers in both parties: Get your act together before the next budget lands on my desk. After a brief government shutdown earlier this year, Democrats and Republicans now agree on the need for budgeting day-to-day operations of government by the old-fashioned way. That means weeks of open debate and amendments that empower rank-and-file lawmakers, rather than concentrating power in the hands of a few leaders meeting in secret. But Capitol Hill’s dysfunction is so pervasive that even the most optimistic predictions are for only a handful of the 12 annual spending bills to make it … [Read more...] about Trump threatens another government shutdown as budget fight looms
Stay the hell on the beach! A new bill that would keep New Jersey's state parks, beaches and other state-run attractions open during a government shutdown is advancing through the state Legislature as lawmakers look to prevent another "Beachgate." Last summer, former Gov. Chris Christie -- captured in a moment that inspired a million memes -- was photographed by NJ Advance Media sunning himself on a state-run beach amid an emergency shutdown. The photos sparked outrage because New Jersey parks and beaches were closed as Christie and Democrats in the Legislature were at loggerheads over the state budget. Now, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and state legislators are wrangling over the new governor's proposed budget before a June 30 deadline -- though they insist another shutdown isn't looming. State Democrats at impasse over taxes Under New Jersey's constitution, failure by state leaders to pass a budget by an annual deadline triggers a … [Read more...] about Will New Jersey keep state parks open if there’s another government shutdown?
April McCullum Free Press Staff Writer Published 10:59 p.m. UTC May 22, 2018 Gov. Phil Scott's threat to veto the state budget raises the possibility, for the first time in Scott's tenure, that state government could shut down in July. Faced with a similar prospect last year, Scott reassured Vermonters that he would not let the government close, even though it meant ceding an important piece of leverage in tax and spending negotiations. He offered no such promises this year. "I can't assure you of anything at this point," the first-term Republican said at a recent news conference. Scott's refusal was alarming and "deeply troubling" to State Treasurer Beth Pearce, who responded in a letter to the governor, House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe. Pearce's message on a potential shutdown: Don't even think about it. "I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to avoid a government shutdown," Pearce … [Read more...] about Gov. Scott won’t rule out a government shutdown. What would that look like?
COLUMBIA — Legislators won't decide until next month whether teachers get a 2 percent pay boost, Charleston's African American Museum gets money or state police can build a new crime lab, almost guaranteeing South Carolina's fiscal year will start July 1 without a state budget. But that doesn't mean a government shutdown looms. A stopgap measure legislators passed before going home two weeks ago — precisely for this possibility — ensures state agencies will remain open and roughly 60,000 state employees will continue to get paid while the General Assembly finishes its work. "The general public won't notice any difference at all," said Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield. However, he added, "this is frustrating."When legislators passed a law in 2016 shortening the session by one month, as Massey pushed for, the intent was for all budget work to be wrapped up before Memorial Day. Instead, legislators will again be down … [Read more...] about State budget might arrive late, but there will be no S.C. government shutdown