MONTPELIER – Governor Phil Scott and his administration are asking Vermont lawmakers to backtrack some recent changes to next year’s budget.
The concerns have to do with changes to how Vermont’s federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act will be used.
Lawmakers in the House reallocated $90 million dollars in federal funding, and their investments don’t align with the administration’s long-term vision for the historic influx of cash.
“Some of the investments that are made in the house version of the budget adjustment do not fit in with the long-term infrastructure-based transformative investments,” said Adam Greshin, Commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management.
Greshin said there’s general agreement with Vermont lawmakers on the broad issues, but the funding source is what’s being debated.
“Nutrition, childcare, closing deficits or helping our providers, all of those needs are very important, but we set aside money in our general fund to meet those needs,” Greshin said.
To that point, the administration is particularly concerned about what investments could be omitted from the final budget if the $90 million dollars goes elsewhere.
“We are saving our federal funding, our ARPA funding, for longer term needs such as broadband, housing, economic development, infrastructure like municipal sewer, wastewater and the like,” Greshin said. “Those are investments that have a 50 to 100 year return.”