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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



Saturday at the Statehouse

For those of you sitting at home on Saturday wondering how the Leggie is coming, I have one thing to say: Go outside and do something.

OK, now that you're outside, I'll try to update you. We are not getting out of here at any time that could be characterized as early Saturday.

Morning talks between legislative leaders and the governor did not bring a budget agreement. Legislators are going ahead with their own to-be-vetoed budget, with a few new tweaks to minimize the impact on the current use program and the Education Fund and win over some reluctant Democrats.

That set the table for a special session sometime between now and July 1 to come up with a new budget.

Gov. Jim Douglas had earlier said he's vetoed the budget before (in 2005) and will do it again, which he today corrected. He didn't veto the budget in 2005. He warned that he would and the Legislature fixed it before a veto came. So this would be the first budget veto in history.

The economic development bill is still in the works. There were so many brush fires to be put on this one, it is mind-boggling. The hallway outside the committee room has seen about 400 mini-conferences on everything from tax increment financing districts to labor regulations. It'll be the last thing out of the chute.

- Terri Hallenbeck

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