The key government functions housed in this budget/audit category include law & order, the National Guard, regulation and the office of the Secretary of State.
The total audited expenditures for fiscal year 2016 were $340.2 million. The final 2016 budget for the agency was $306.9 million, with about 67% in the law & order bucket and 20% in the regulatory bucket.
At the beginning of fiscal year 2016, the Vermont Telecommunication Authority (TVA), previously a stand-alone entity, was merged into the Department of Public Service, which is part of this Agency. For audit purposes, TVA is now included in the Public Service numbers.
The Informed Vermonter suspects (but cannot confirm) that TVA is not included in the budget, which may account for some of the large gap between audited and budgeted expenditures.
Protection to Persons and Property Budget: Fiscal-Year 2016
|Department||Amount ($ millions)|
|Office of Attorney General||11.7|
|Office of Defender General||15.8|
|States Attorneys and Sheriffs||18.9|
|Center for Crime Victims||10.6|
|Agriculture, Food and Markets||18.5|
|Secretary of State||10.0|
|Public Service Department||16.3|
|Public Service Board||3.5|
|Enhanced 911 Board||4.6|
|Human Rights Commission||0.5|
Funding for all this is split about 50% from service revenues, 35% from state taxes and 15% from federal grants. Service revenues include fines and penalties, corporate fees, business licenses, judiciary fees, alarm registrations and the like.
Much of the above is self explanatory, but a few clarifications may be helpful. The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement official in the state. This office prosecutes crime and enforces all the laws of the state, including civil rights, consumer protection and environmental laws.
The Office of Defender General provides legal services to defendants who cannot afford their own counsel.
Public Safely is the departmental name given to the state police, and also includes fire safely, emergency management and investigative services.
Agriculture, Financial Regulation, Liquor Control and the Public Service Department regulate Vermont’s agricultural industry, banks, insurance companies, security firms, the sale of alcoholic beverages and all electric, gas and telecommunications providers.