Vermont Lawmakers Adjourn After Passing $30 Million Tax Bill
Vermont lawmakers have passed a $1.47 billion general fund spending plan and an overall budget of about $5.5 billion, and have wrapped up their 2015 session.
The final gavels came down in the Senate at 10:23 p.m. Saturday and 11:04 p.m. in the House. That was about nine hours after a logjam was cleared with agreement between Gov. Peter Shumlin and lawmakers on a $30 million package of tax increases.
The session saw the passage of several landmark bills: One to clean up the state's waters, another to streamline its school districts. There were heated controversies over gun regulation and requiring nearly all parents to get their kids vaccinated.
Some items were left undone. Shumlin's request for a new payroll tax to improve Medicaid payments to health care providers didn't make it.
Shumlin and House Speaker Shap Smith say they're both pleased with progress on a range of issues, but note there's always more to do.
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