Scott previews lean budget, calls for $15M for water program

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott says incoming lawmakers should expect a lean budget in the upcoming session of the state Legislature, which begins in January.

MyNBC5 reports Scott said during a recent news conference that even though the state economy is growing most new revenue will have to be used to help fund the state's underfunded retirement pension funds.

"We're going to have to live within our means once again," Scott said. "I believe Vermonters elected me with that in mind."

Scott was elected to a second term earlier this month. He believes voters kept him in office because he helped balance a budget without raising taxes. The governor is again pushing to avoid tax hikes, calling it a "last resort."

Incoming lawmakers are due at the Statehouse this week for orientation and briefings on key issues, including the state of the economy and pressures on the state budget.

Scott wants to set aside $15 million in funding for clean water initiatives, but he did not specify a source for the money

"Raising taxes should be the last resort," the governor said. "So we'll continue to present a budget that does just that -- that doesn't spend more than we're taking in."

Scott hopes to work with Democrats, who will have large majorities in both the House and Senate.

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This APNewsNow corrects member attribution to MyNBC5.