State budget pushed back by federal uncertainty

MONTPELIER — Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont lawmakers have agreed to push the governor’s annual budget address back a week, to give the fiscal situation in Washington a chance to become more clear.
Officials said Wednesday they had planned to have the governor outline his spending plan on Jan. 17, during the second week of this year’s legislative session.
Instead, they’ll wait until the following Thursday. Congress reached a compromise on New Year’s Day to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and its round of automatic spending cuts and tax increases.
But they left decisions about spending cuts for deliberations to come, creating uncertainty about federal aid to the states.
More than a third of the money Vermont spends comes from the federal government.

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