Town voters approved almost $1 million to fund the project back in December. Now, the town needs $800,000 more to complete the project as expected, which would require another town-wide vote.
The extraordinary level of federal spending in the wake of the pandemic has been a temporary boon to the state’s coffers. Lawmakers and the governor began the 2022 legislative session with a little over $500 million remaining from the state’s American Rescue Plan Act allocation.
The Republican governor and the Democratic-controlled Legislature are still quite far apart on key line items, including housing, economic development and taxes.
With the House and Senate poised to enter conference committee discussions on their respective $8 billion state budget proposals, Gov. Phil Scott had some finger-wagging to do at Tuesday’s weekly news conference.
Big-ticket federally funded items in the governor’s budget include $145 million for housing initiatives, nearly $200 million to expand broadband, $51 million for cell towers and another $72 million for water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure.
See the transcript and full video of the governor's 2022 Budget Address, delivered Tuesday.
At an unrelated news conference in Vermont on Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he and top negotiators in Washington are working “24/7” to pass a domestic budget to fund climate change mitigation, child care, Medicare expansion and more.
Members of the Green Mountain Care Board have cast doubt on the Vermont hospital’s vision, saying leaders are banking on a temporary uptick in services that may not last.
The Vermont independent, who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, has been instrumental in shaping the $3.5 trillion spending plan, which includes universal pre-K, an expansion of Medicare and ambitious steps to combat climate change.
The budget restores funding to pre-pandemic levels and reinvests savings from police staffing attrition into new positions and resources.
The budget is unlike most in Vermont history because it’s built on a windfall of federal money and makes major investments in broadband, housing and other sectors.
The sweeping budget includes $150 million for broadband, $190 million for affordable housing and $50 million for climate change initiatives.
With just a week to go before the Vermont Legislature is scheduled to adjourn, state budget writers have a fresh challenge on their hands.
The Democrats’ game plan — determining how to spend the federal stimulus early in the session and refusing to wait for Gov. Phil Scott — means he’s now behind the eight-ball in negotiations over how the federal money should be used.