Governor Phil Scott signed the state budget (H.439, an act relating to making appropriations for the support of government) for state fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1.
“This is a truly transformational budget that will allow us to recover from the pandemic and address some longstanding challenges, including our workforce shortage and economic inequity that exists from county to county,” said Governor Scott. “With smart state investments and a very strategic approach for using federal funds, this budget puts us on a new path to a more prosperous and equitable future for all of Vermont.”
The $7.315 billion budget prioritizes growing the economy, including funding small business pandemic relief, community revitalization projects and tourism marketing career technical education programs and centers, adult training and re-training, state colleges, worker relocation grants and more. The budget also funds shared priorities to protect the vulnerable and our natural resources, as well as improve the lives of Vermonters. This includes initiatives to provide permanent housing for the homeless, weatherize more homes, increase access to emergency mental health interventions, and mitigate climate change.
Additionally, the budget invests funding received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in many of the key areas proposed by Governor Scott and commits to additional appropriations in the following two fiscal years. This includes $250 million for climate change mitigation, $225 million for clean water initiatives, $250 million for a wide array of housing and $250 million for broadband and connectivity.
Corresponding to this broadband investment, Governor Scott also signed H.360, an act relating to accelerated community broadband deployment, which will allow the state to expand broadband access across the state.
“I greatly appreciate the legislature’s partnership in ensuring we make the most of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so we can recover from the pandemic and emerge stronger. By having clear priorities, working together and keeping an open mind, we found consensus on most issues, compromised where we needed to, and remained respectful when we disagreed. We showed that good, balanced bipartisan government can truly make a difference for the people and state we serve.”