Cost of Childcare is Still Unknown, and Questions Remain Unanswered

Nine weeks to the session and the cost and revenue source to pay for one of the legislature’s major priorities remains unclear. When the Chair of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee posed the question of cost, she was met with a resounding silence from advocates, committee members, and the Joint Fiscal Office representative in the committee room. Even following the results of the RAND report, which was commissioned by the legislature for $600,000 to guide their work this session, there is no understanding of how this Senate’s proposal will be paid for. S.56 is expected to remain in committee until next week, leaving the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee little time to do their vital work before crossover. The Senate Finance Committee has made it clear they will be considering the cumulative impact of all the major proposals in discussion, which will be essential to ensuring the vitality of the Vermont economy.