Letters to the Editor: Scott correct in budget priorities

In a recent legislative review, I found some of Representative Conlon’s wording disappointing. He says in the article the he is “not normally one to play politics.” However, his language leaves me questioning that. Using words like “hostage,” accusing Republicans of “putting Vermont’s bond rating in jeopardy” and stating that “The governor vetoed the budget because he did not get his way on public school employee health care negotiations during the session,” are not productive and clearly politically motivated.
The last statement may be true, but Governor Scott has given Vermont school boards a tool that they have needed for decades in their David vs. Goliath negotiations with the teachers’ union.
By vetoing the budget and getting other Republicans on board with him, you fault the governor because “the time had passed” since many school districts had completed their negotiations and now savings realized would just be shifted. It that were the case and the savings were already in the newly negotiated contracts then there would be no penalties because the benchmarks would already have been met.
The much bigger question for me, and one that I would welcome your answer, is “Why didn’t Democrats and Progressives vote for the $26 million savings when the snow was still melting and contracts had not been completed?” Thankfully, Governor Scott is watching the taxpayer’s dollars and finally there are enough Republicans in the house and senate to make a stand for Vermont’s overtaxed citizens.
Bryan Jones

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