With Compromise, State Appropriations Reflect Shared Goals

The Governor and Legislature each prioritized investments in the workforce, housing, critical infrastructure, and tax savings this session, and the budget and other major appropriations bills reflected those priorities. The budget included a $95 million investment in broadband connectivity projects, $50 million for the Vermont Housing Conservation Board, and a total of $137.8 million in economic and workforce development programs. The budget also provided over $7 million for childcare, invested in water and wastewater systems, and established the IT Modernization Fund, which will in part fund the Vermont Department of Labor’s Unemployment Insurance modernization project. The Capital Bill also invested in VHCB, funded municipal pollution control grants and clean water programs, supported renovations in nursing training labs, and funded the Regional Economic Development Grants Program. The Transportation Bill made significant investments in highways, roads, and bridges, as well as bike and pedestrian facilities and transportation alternatives. It funded public transit, electric vehicle and bike incentives, and electric vehicle charging infrastructure along highways. Finally, a revenue surplus in the Education Fund allowed tax savings to be returned to tax payers in the form of property tax exemptions and the manufacturing tax exemption, as well as investments such as a $15 million CTE construction and rehabilitation program turning outdated structures into housing units. Despite compromising on some pieces of the priorities, these major investments in shared goals make clear that Vermont is rowing in the same direction, and we can make progress to build a better future for our state.