- Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday vetoed a $150 million expansion of state child care subsidies.
- The proposal, which would have tapped into payroll tax revenue for funding, would allow subsidies for households earning up to 575% of federal poverty guidelines.
- "Vermont already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. The last thing we should be doing is making it worse," Scott wrote to lawmakers. "Raising new revenue from taxes and fees should be a last resort, not a first step."
Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have expanded child care subsidies for some families, saying he objects to the payroll tax to partially pay for it.
Scott wrote in his veto message to lawmakers that increasing the availability and affordability of child care has been a priority during his time as governor but said he can't support a new tax.
"Vermont already has one of the highest tax burdens in the nation. The last thing we should be doing is making it worse," he wrote. "Raising new revenue from taxes and fees should be a last resort, not a first step."
The Legislature’s $150 million child care plan would have expanded child care subsidies to families with incomes up to 575% of the federal poverty guidelines. It would have also increased pay for child care workers and would be paid for with help from a 0.44% payroll tax split between employers and employees.
Democratic Senate President Pro Tempore Philip Baruth said the governor's veto came as no surprise and will be the top priority during the Legislature's veto override session later this month.
"During his years in office, the Governor has talked about the need to expand and enrich our childcare offerings, but he has never been willing to address the problem at the scale it demands," Baruth said in a written statement. "H.217 represents an authentic, long-term solution to our childcare crisis by helping parents afford care and helping caregivers afford to stay in their profession."