In response to criticism from legislative leadership, Governor Phil Scott has re-engaged on the budget process in the 11th hour with a modified proposal.
Scott’s initial proposal plugged a multi-million budget dollar hole (while increasing spending for selected items) largely based on a pitch for local school boards to both level-fund school budgets as well as delay their local school budget votes until May. This proposal was criticized as unrealistic on its face, particularly coming as it did only days before most already-crafted school budget proposals were to be legally finalized for Town Meeting Day consideration. Since the Governor’s vision for such a radical change in school budgeting did not materialize, the administration has firmly resisted calls to re-engage with the legislature in order to craft a proposal based on those budget factors within state control.
But that all changed today when Governor Scott announced a modified budget. In a message clearly tailored to legislators who viewed his previous proposal as based on assumptions that were unrealistic or even fanciful, Scott stressed his new proposal was a “serious, thoughtful proposal to bring in another $30 million dollars without raising any further taxes or fees on struggling Vermonters, while maintaining our budget priorities.”
The proposal fills the gap with the Leprechaun’s pot o’ gold. The Governor noted that his staff had been hard at work identifying the location of the end of the rainbow in recent months, and had in fact verified the location of the pot o’ gold only this week. In his press conference, the Governor strongly urged opposition Democrats to “move forward on this responsibly balanced budget without delay.”
Democratic legislative leaders, however, were dubious. In a hastily called press conference, House Leadership was joined by the Leprechaun, where the group characterized this most recent proposal as no more realistic than the previous one.
The Leprechaun also noted the history of ill fortune coming to those who had attempted to access this source of funding in the past, adding “hands off me gold.”
The Leprechaun further began voicing his concerns over the long-term wisdom of depending on such a “one-off” funding source for the state budget, but was cut short when he was seized by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials after proving unable to produce a valid green card.
Senate Judiciary Committee hearings over President Trump’s nominee to the US Supreme Court, Skeletor, continued today as the Eternian faced a marathon q&a session with the assembled Senators of both parties.
Supreme Court nominee Skeletor refused Tuesday to address tough questions from Democrats on abortion, guns, campaign spending and a host of other issues that he said could come before the court in the future.
President Trump’s nominee to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia 13 months ago said his caution wasn’t related to his personal views, which he steadfastly kept to himself.
Raising his voice at times, Skeletor said he rules fairly on facts and the law in each case that comes before him. Beyond that, he would not give hints about his ideological leanings, his opinions of past Supreme Court precedents or his likely votes in future cases.
“I have offered no promises on how I’d rule in any case to anyone, and I don’t think it’s appropriate to do so,” he said, pledging to keep “an open mind.”
In an unusual Saturday announcement, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated Lake Champlain cyanobacteria an endangered species.
The decision comes as a result of a petition filed by a new regional environmental organization made up of a broad-based coalition of farmers, developers and municipal officials. Their concerns come as long-term projections based on anticipated changes in policy around stormwater and wastewater runoff and agricultural practices suggest hard times ahead for native cyanobacteria, known colloquially as blue-green algae.
In the announcement, an EPA spokesperson noted the potentially catastrophic threats to cyanobacteria habitat in coming years. “Policymakers have been discussing wholesale changes to stormwater and agricultural runoff policy with wanton disregard to the potentially devastating impact on this local species. Although today’s EPA is strongly against regulation, we feel that this situation cannot be ignored.”
The Agency indicated it would be mandating a policy of sustained, targeted increases in crop fertilization and untreated municipal sewage dumps until such time that authorities deem the cyanobacteria population is found to be robust and stable.
NSA files leaked to GMD prove that everyone has been right about everything all along.
Secret world government authorities have been distributing airborne vaccines with thimeserol through chemtrails. These chemtrails are carefully plotted in relation to ridgeline wind turbines for maximum spread. The purpose, according to whistleblowers, is to infect Americans with adult-onset autism, which will allow the pharma-wind-military industrial complex to send black helicopters to confiscate all the guns, thereby creating an opening for President Obama to lead the armies of ISIS and Kenya through the unprotected Mexican border to seize the country.
Climate change was conceived as an elaborate hoax to distract the world (or at least, those few left not involved in the conspiracy – it is a pretty big one, after all) from this developing plot.
More details are forthcoming about the details of the plot and precisely who is involved, but the picture below was leaked by the whistleblower and authenticated.
Sources report that Vermont Health Connect’s prospects are again looking dire. The online health care marketplace, still beset with problems, has already seen costs skyrocket, and word is that the latest contractor has also failed to meet internal benchmarks.
In an effort to save money and rescue the ACA-mandated online marketplace, word is that the administration is now speaking to Comcast Cable. The Cable giant, which currently provides cable television, phone and internet services, will be bundling Vermont Health Connect plans with its other plans, offering a seamless transition that merges easily with bills many Vermonters are already paying.
A sneak peak of the types of offerings to be available on the Comcast website was briefly visible online, before the site was taken down for maintenance.
BREAKING NEWS – Word is that the Comcast deal mentioned in the previous diary fell through in the last possible minutes. Reportedly, the cable giant offered the Shumlin Administration a deal that was, in its view, quite reasonable for Vermont taxpayers. At the last minute, the Governor’s staff realized that the quoted rates were only good for the first year. Last minute attempts to include free HBO and Cinemax with Silver and Gold plans were reportedly not enough to save the deal.
Instead, GMD has learned, Vermont Health Connect will be managed at an even lower cost to taxpayers through the widely popular international community website Craigslist. Details are still forthcoming, but the beta version of the new site is online now, and pictured below.
How much does Gov. Peter Shumlin hate on the Vermont House’s tax bill?
So much so that he’d rather kill himself than sign it.
…Shumlin said, pausing for a moment. “If you told me that I had to jump from a window, I would go for the highest building that I could possibly find to jump to make sure that I wasn’t here to see that tax package become law.”
The much-reported and talked about threat did come off as bizarre to many Vermont political observers, but it turned out the complete quote was merely in keeping with the season. In fact, Shumlin went on from there:
…and lo, will I be laid in my tomb. My cabinet will become fearful and go into hiding. But verily, on the third day I will rise again, in fulfillment of the scriptures, and I will return in glory, bringing forth a new covenant with the legislature.
After the Governor made good on his threat on Friday, following last week’s House vote on the budget, unconfirmed reports indicate that Sue Allen and Liz Miller went to the the tomb, only to find the stone had been rolled away from the entrance leaving the tomb empty. Hours later, the Governor appeared to his cabinet (which had been holed up in hiding). Reports are that Human Services Secretary Doug Racine doubted the resurrection until he was personally able to place his hand in the wound left where the legislature had stabbed him in the back.
Unconfirmed reports have also come in that that Speaker Smith was involved in a traffic accident on the road to Elmore, when he became momentarily blinded by a flash of light accompanied by a booming voice which was heard to say “Shap, Shap – why do you persecute me?”
Now that he’s making up yet another excuse to veto health care reform, it seems obvious that Gov. Douglas has never had any intention of signing onto ANY health care reform bill that the Democrats or Republicans or anyone would possibly come up with. Ever. This is from a press release that came out of Speaker Symington’s office today:
The Governor wanted a cap on enrollment. He got it.
The Governor wanted a private insurance product. He got it.
The Governor wanted the risk to be on the private insurer. He got it.
The Governor wanted his Employer Sponsored Insurance plan. He got it.
The Governor wanted a 4year phase-in of employer assessments. He got it.
The Governor wanted a less aggressive assumption about growth in spending and savings. He got it.
The Governor wanted a second look at the process of seeking letters of intent if insurance companies don’t submit them. He got it.
The Governor wanted a higher bar before triggering consideration of mandatory insurance. He got it.
The Governor wanted 36 hours to consider the bill. He got 48.
The question is, will voters finally “get it” that he doesn’t care one whit about health care reform, or anything other than his own re-election?