Three weeks ago the governor and his administration presented the first phase of a $400 million economic relief package. This package proposed directing $310 million federal cares act dollars to small businesses, housing, agriculture, and consumers. However, the Vermont house is only including a third of the money proposed.
Governor Phil Scott said, “So while I am appreciative of the legislature moving forward with something, even if it is a reduced amount, I am hoping they will get back to work on the remaining three hundred million dollars quickly.”
Governor Scott says this money is crucial because the pandemic has crippled small businesses
“I can assure you these employers are on the brink. Some are weeks or even days away from bankruptcy and shutting their doors forever, through no fault of their own”, said Scott.
Phase two of the recovery package proposes 90 million dollars in economic support. According to the secretary for the agency of commerce and community development, Lindsay Kurlee, none of the money has reached Vermonters.
Kurlee said, “Phase two of this total four hundred million dollar investment is a first step. There will be much work to do in the months and years ahead but we cannot be effective in doing that without first ensuring that our businesses survive.”
Joan Goldstein, the commissioner for the department of economic development says Vermont cannot afford to wait for this package to pass.
Goldstein said, “This is not just a handout this is about preserving the parts of the economy that we have the ability to help.”
In a statement regarding the 93 million recovery package, house speaker Mitzi Johnson said this package is on the fast-track to ensure there are as few impediments between Vermont businesses and the relief money as possible. The legislature is working intensely to get nearly a billion dollars into the hands of Vermonter and Vermont businesses. The next step is to get the governors signature.