Governor Phil Scott Continues Efforts to Secure Up to $26 Million in Education Savings for Taxpayers While Using Nearly $50 Million to Protect Teachers
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott’s Communications Director Rebecca Kelley today issued the following statement:
“Governor Scott remains committed to ensuring maximum savings for taxpayers from a change in health plans that the Vermont Education Health Initiative (VEHI) estimates will save up to $75 million a year. His proposal reinvests nearly $50 million of this savings in Vermont’s teachers so they can have similar coverage and keep their out-of-pocket costs the same. It also makes certain taxpayers benefit from the remaining savings – up to $26 million a year.
“The Governor believes that when teachers learn nearly $50 million of the savings from this proposal are redirected to protect them from higher out-of-pocket costs, they will see he is offering a plan that reflects his deep appreciation for their work, and that this important proposal will benefit all Vermonters.
“The Governor’s plan is the only plan presented with a real mechanism to maximize savings for taxpayers, ensure teachers and all school employees won’t pay more, and achieve equity and sustainability in health care coverage for school employees across all districts. That’s why it has the support of the Vermont School Boards Association and the Vermont Superintendents Association.
“The Legislature’s current wait-and-see alternative leaves the savings to chance. The fact is, school boards are not budgeting anywhere near the potential savings and a statewide mechanism is the only way to maximize the value of this opportunity. With a Senate budget that sets higher property tax rates than those recommended by the House and the Governor, it’s clear the Senate isn’t confident those savings will materialize on their own.
“The Governor is not willing to leave millions in taxpayer relief to chance when we have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make Vermont more affordable – on an immediate and ongoing basis – without cutting programs for kids or asking teachers to pay more.”
To learn more about the Governor’s proposal, visit http://governor.vermont.gov/.