The House Budget Sets the Stage for a Challenge of Priorities

The House Appropriation Committee finalized their version of the budget bill, which will be considered by the full House in the coming days. This budget makes significant changes to the Governor’s recommended priorities, setting the stage for an uphill battle. The Committee accounted for all ARPA and General Fund dollars but a core disagreement between the House and the Administration is how to use one-time dollars, with the Governor recommending these funds be used for transformative infrastructure spending while the House has mixed these funds with ongoing spending.

Another major point of contention is tax relief. The Governor presented his budget with no new taxes and a $50 reduction in taxes through cuts and rebates. The House countered that with a $50 million Child Tax Credit. The House also chose not to fund the business grants, which the Senate has approved, or the Missing Middle Home Ownership Program and relocation marketing proposal to encourage more people to move and work in Vermont, both priorities of the Governor.

Reconciling all these priorities will be a struggle, but it will be even more difficult once the Senate crafts its version of the budget. The stage is now set for a clash of priorities as each of the three sides fight for their priorities over the remaining weeks of the 2022 legislative session.