Vermont will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars in transforming the state over the next two years, Gov. Phil Scott said.
Giving his annual adjournment address to the Senate and the House this week, the Republican governor highlighted the strides the state made during the 2022 legislation session that included using historic federal funding to invest in climate change mitigation, housing, economic development, community recovery, critical infrastructure such as broadband, and improvements to the water, sewer, and stormwater systems throughout the state.
“Just think about this,” Scott said in the release. “After years of debating how to spend hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, for programs and new initiatives, we’ve invested billions this session on transformative projects that will put Vermont on a new trajectory.”
The state began the year with a budget that featured record surpluses through the infusion of federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act and the CARES Act, according to the release.
“It took work to build consensus on some issues, find compromise on others, and let the process take its course in the areas where we couldn’t find agreement,” the governor said. “And we showed that even when we disagree, we can be respectful and civil. My hope is, we will be an example for others and show that putting politics aside is the best way to give the people the results they deserve.”
Scott said his one key takeaway from the session was how “in some ways it’s actually harder” when it comes to allocating funding to programs “when you have more money than when you don’t have enough.”
“Just think about this,” the governor said that “after years of debating how to spend hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions, for programs and new initiatives, we’ve invested billions this session on transformative projects that will put Vermont on a new trajectory.”
Scott said because of the Legislature’s work over the past four months, “communities will get the infrastructure they need to bring in more jobs and housing, and families can replace water and sewer systems that have been unusable.”
The state will use $250 million for housing, Scott said, to “hopefully turn the corner” on the shortage of affordable homes in Vermont.
“We worked to make our state more inclusive, standing up for the transgender rights, and to better protect all citizens from threats to their safety,” Scott said. “Importantly, we all stood together, unanimously, to protect democracy by passing a bill in a matter of days to provide over $600,000 to help the people of Ukraine.”
Scott pointed to the $8 billion budget that will help the state “keep and create good jobs,” while building homes that are reasonable in price, and “support communities across the state.”
“A state where all kids are getting the best education whether they go to the largest school, or the smallest,” Scott said. “Where families keep more of what they earn, and where we get closer to having a healthy and vibrant economy in all 14 counties, so we can protect the vulnerable and invest in the things we care about most.”
This article was originally posted on Vermont governor highlights strides made during Legislative session