House committee gives green light to $280M budget adjustment

Published: Jan. 31, 2023 at 6:05 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A key legislative committee has given the green light to a $280 million spending package that would extend a key deadline for housing homeless Vermonters.

The Budget Adjustment Act is a mid-year tweak to last year’s budget. There are still millions of dollars in federal cash circulating in the state economy, so lawmakers are investing millions in housing, workforce, and mental health efforts.

The House Appropriations Committee also earmarked $21 million toward hotel housing for unhoused Vermonters that will extend that housing until July. There’s also about $50 million for affordable housing providers.

In all, the plan voted out by the committee was larger than Governor Phil Scott’s. At his weekly press briefing, the governor said he has concerns about its size. “...and where that’s going to come from. Obviously, we have a budget that includes a lot of that money. I just want us to focus on the fundamentals and what can help us get through the next few years as we see the economy turn downward, I believe,” Scott said.

However, there are a few proposals the governor says he likes. The Rural Assistance Program will give grants to small towns and municipalities to help them fill out federal grant applications for broadband, water, and sewer.

The full House is expected to vote on the budget adjustment later this week and then it will head to the Senate.

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