Vt. House lawmakers pass $300M spending plan

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:37 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 3, 2023 at 10:01 AM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A grab bag of extra spending is making its way through the Vermont Statehouse, where dwindling federal cash is sparking spirited debate under the golden dome over competing needs.

Vermont lawmakers passed a $300 million mid-year spending plan on Thursday.

The House of Representatives passed the Budget Adjustment Act 107-33. The plan floated by federal cash includes millions for organic dairy subsidies, affordable housing and hotel housing for the homeless.

Before the vote, Rutland Rep. Paul Clifford proposed removing $7 million from the hotel-motel program. Stressing the financial impact it’s had on Rutland, he says the state needs a plan to house vulnerable Vermonters without using federal cash.

“There hasn’t been a plan in three years. I think that’s ample enough time for the administration and the Legislature to formulate some kind of plan knowing full well the money is going to run out,” said Clifford, R-Rutland.

Democratic lawmakers, however, said on the floor that more time is needed to keep a roof over Vermonters’ heads while the state works on more permanent housing solutions. “We have made thoughtful investments in state government in the agencies, partners, and programs that help people and lift them up in every corner of the state,” said Rep. Kathleen James, D-Manchester.

Lawmakers will vote on the budget adjustment bill one more time Friday before it heads to the Vermont Senate where senators will make their own changes over the next few weeks.