Vermont’s 2022 budget includes $7.35 billion. It makes sizable investments in a wide range of key areas, with the help of federal American Rescue Plan money.
The state House and Senate adjourned their 2021 legislative session Friday afternoon. As lawmakers were heading out the door for the summer, Gov. Phil Scott offered congratulations to them for making the investments.
“I appreciate marking the close of your session in May, because — I’m sure you remember — last year I was giving this address at the end of September,” the governor said as applause during a virtual hearing via Zoom died down.
Gov. Scott reminded them that in January, when the session began, he asked them to not only get through the pandemic but face long-standing challenges — like affordability and regional economic inequity — head-on.
“My friends, we’ve done that,” he told them. “Vermonters are already better for it and we’ve once again shown America what can be achieved when elected leaders have the courage to put progress ahead of politics.”
At the close of her first session as Senate President Pro Tem, State Sen. Becca Balint said the legislature’s upper chamber set — and met — many goals for itself this year that the Green Mountain State would find meaningful.
Those goals included “support to businesses,” Sen. Balint said. “Making real progress on broadband, child care, housing, climate action, racial justice. Continuing to reform our criminal justice system, supporting our schools and bringing more voices into the conversations that happen in this building.”
State Rep. Jill Krowinski praised other benefits of the budget that came out of her first session as House Speaker, a session she described as “a whirlwind”.
“This budget makes critical investments in our mental health care system,” Rep. Krowinski said. “We stabilized our state college system with the largest investment in higher education in state history.”
The 2022 state budget also invests nearly $160 million into the Vermont work force and economy. It sets aside $190 million for housing and $150 million for future efforts to stabilize pensions for public employees.