In a letter to the Vermont House Appropriations Committee, VPIRG and 18 organizational allies of diverse backgrounds identified their priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, which is currently being considered in the legislature.
Our aim is to encourage our state to prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable Vermonters – including BIPOC Vermonters and Vermonters with low-incomes – by centering equity in the budget process as we pursue a just and sustainable pandemic recovery that benefits all Vermonters, while cutting carbon pollution and helping put Vermont on track to hit its climate commitments.
In his budget address in late January, Governor Scott advocated for increased spending on important projects like weatherization and broadband access. Many of the Governor’s suggested funding increases are reflected in this joint coalition’s letter to Appropriations.
Here is a snapshot of those priorities (find the full letter below):
- $20 million for weatherization, prioritizing the homes of low and moderate income Vermonters;
- $5 million increase in funding for the State Energy Management Program, which funds town efficiency projects;
- $34.8 million for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, which would go towards affordable housing initiatives;
- $4.3 million for electric vehicle programs, including incentives, EV charging infrastructure, dealership incentives, and more;
- $600,000 for the MileageSmart program, which helps low and moderate income Vermonters purchase fuel efficient vehicles;
- $13-15 million in funding for other programs aimed at modernizing our transportation sector;
- $10 million to help make renewable energy projects more accessible to Vermonters of low and moderate incomes;
- Additional funding for the Office of Racial Equity;
- and $19.9 million in funding for broadband initiatives, aimed at bringing reliable internet accessibility to all Vermonters.
Find more details and a list of ally organizations by reading the full letter below: