Editorial: We’re glad you asked, Mr. Ashe - Caledonian-Record

Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe asked - somewhat rhetorically - which programs the Legislature should cut to reduce the epic $430 million budget deficit. The publisher of the Caledonian-Record is glad he asked.

“Vermont employs almost 10,000 people. About 1,800 of them earn over $80,000 a year plus benefits that far exceed what's available to their private sector peers. 651 clear six-figures. That's top heavy and we suspect you could get the same output from half the people. (Savings: $112,500,000). Education is another $2 billion morass and we know that we're paying more than anyone else in the nation for average results and plummeting enrollments. Just get rid of the Education Department, we doubt even they would mind. (Savings: $14 million). Vermont could save another $50 million a year by reducing student/staff ratios to 5.5-to-1, from the current 5.1-to-1 average. Even at 5.5-to-1 we'd still have (by far), the lowest student/staff ratio in the country. (Savings: $50 million)."


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  • Patrick Finnie
    commented 2020-05-31 10:33:58 -0400
    Maybe state employees that make over $100,000 is a good starting point to begin looking for savings, it may just be a drop in a $410,000,000 bucket, but it would be a start. I would then ask whatever happened to the idea of pure public service where an elected official’s reason for service was viewed as a duty, an honor, to accomplish a righteous public service, not as some seem to view it as series of stepping stones to an ultimate personal goal ? Maybe the Legislature, and other elected officials could add another drop in the bucket by donating their salaries back to the state as President Trump does with his salary ? Yea right, and now that pipe dream has been related I’ll shut up and go back to my rubber room.
  • Ivan st george
    commented 2020-05-27 10:51:05 -0400
    over 80,000 Vermonters have been out of work since March while 10,000 State employees have been held harmless
    Many of the 80,000 will not be able to pay property taxes, so for Tim Ashe to ask that question is an insult to all fair minded citizens.
    Beware ,you will see a huge tax increase coming from this bunch
  • Dana Colson
    commented 2020-05-26 20:58:39 -0400
    Great article and data. Looks to me like the state is top heavy with some overpaid administrators while the guys & gals on the bottom struggle just to put food on the table. Maybe it’s time to flatten the curve in the pay scale.

    Dana Colson for Lt. Governor