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RANDOLPH, Vt. (AP) — Republican Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he would support a plan to separate Vermont’s proposed $5.85 billion budget bill from an ongoing property tax dispute in order to avert a government shutdown.

Scott said that he would need to review the details of the plan, but that it is a positive step forward in the dispute. He added he would need assurance from the Legislature that it would return to property tax negotiations after passing the one-year budget. The current fiscal year ends June 30.

“There needs to be an incentive for everyone to get to the table to negotiate,” said Scott. “I want to make sure we have that provision.”

Scott and the Legislature have been locked in a disagreement over how the state can best use $34.5 million in one-time funds, a combination of unexpected tax revenue and a settlement with the tobacco industry. Scott wants that money to pay down property tax rates to the previous year’s level to prevent an increase, but Democratic leaders want to fund future teacher pension obligations.

Scott officially vetoed the budget and property tax bills Friday. The legislature reconvened last week for a special session to address his vetoes.

Scott said it is hard to accept an increase in property taxes while the state has a surplus, but the largest driver of the increase is school budgets, which voters approved earlier this year.

The proposal to vote only on the proposed budget is spurred by fears that Vermont’s government could shut down if no funds are appropriated before July 1. Democratic leaders said a shutdown would have “terrible impacts,” including jeopardizing the state’s bond rating and closing state parks at the height of the summer tourism season.

“The State of Vermont must stay open. We cannot and will not allow a government shutdown,” Democratic Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe said in a joint statement announcing the proposal. “While some may speak cavalierly of a government shutdown, we will not let this happen.”

The budget bill is similar to one passed with overwhelming support from Vermont’s three main parties — the Democrats, Republicans and progressives — and Scott acknowledged there was little difference of opinion in the actual budget.

Democratic leaders have repeatedly referred to his plan as “governing on credit.”