ST. ALBANS — Several House Representatives in Franklin County are grave, apprehensive about finding money to close the $45 million budget gap in Vermont’s general fund upon their January return to Montpelier.
Representatives Kathy Keenan, Marianna Gamache, Carl Rosenquist, Cindy Weed, Barbara Murphy and Dan Connor stopped by the Franklin Grand Isle Community Partnership meeting Wednesday to comment on the state’s finances, as well as the importance of civic involvement.
Keenan, the ranking member on the House Committee on Appropriations, and Gamache, the representative for Swanton and Sheldon, questioned where the state could find additional revenue to meet the $45 million shortfall.
“I think that there’s probably nobody in this room that isn’t dependent on general fund dollars and that’s where we’re in big trouble,” said Keenan, “because we’re not raising enough money to pay for the programs we’ve got now or we wouldn’t have to have a supplemental budget.”
Keenan said legislators will return to the statehouse on Dec. 18 to create a supplemental budget to fill the $45 million gap.
“As far as the statehouse goes, we’re between and have been for a while, a rock and a hard place,” said Gamache, who sits on the House Committee on Human Services. “There is no money… You know, going to the well all the time, at some point that well runs dry.”
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