At a press conference on May 17, 2022, Governor Scott reflected on the 2022 legislative session, highlighting key investments that will help families, buinesses and communities across the state. His comments are included below:
Governor Scott: I thought I’d spend some time today talking about the legislative session, in particular some of the investments that will be made with historic state surpluses and federal funding.
Now, I know I’ve talked a lot over the last year about how we can’t squander this once in a lifetime opportunity and about how to make the most impactful, transformative investments that will get the best returns for years to come.
As I said in my Adjournment Address to the Legislature, it’s the areas of disagreement that get most of the attention at the end of the session. But in the end, by working together, we really did accomplish a lot.
Last year, when we learned how much we’d get through ARPA funding, I laid out a vision, with five buckets I felt would best serve Vermonters. It included about $250 million for Housing, over $200 million to combat climate change, $200 million for water/sewer/storm water infrastructure, $250 million for broadband, and over $140 million for economic development.
As you may recall, as part of our negotiations last year, I insisted the budget include intent language that, in principle, committed additional money to these categories again this year so we could follow through with what we started, and I’m pleased the Legislature largely stuck to this agreement.
For example, in this year’s budget, the Legislature fully funded my nearly $100 million broadband request, which will provide the vast majority of Vermonters with access.
I requested historic funding for climate change mitigation, and this year they funded my $80 million request for weatherization, $10 million for EV infrastructure, $14 million for clean vehicle incentives, millions for grid upgrades, home electric systems, and more.
We’ll also invest another $100 million-plus in water/sewer/storm infrastructure, which will give communities across the state more opportunity to grow and thrive.
And even though there were some debates about issues attached to the housing bills, we worked out many of our differences, and we’ll be investing hundreds of millions of dollars to build new homes, help those experiencing homelessness, and making it easier to build in the places we want development, like downtowns and village centers.
Now, I didn’t get everything I wanted, and as a reminder, the Legislature vetoed their fair share of my proposals as well. But in the areas I just discussed, Vermonters will benefit for decades to come as a result of the decisions we made this year.
There will be more time in the weeks ahead to talk about all the good in many of these bills, and those who deserve credit, especially as we start receiving them from the Legislature to sign, and I look forward to seeing shovels in the ground across the state this summer.