H.145 - AN ACT RELATING TO FISCAL YEAR 2023 BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS
Passed in the State House of Representatives
on February 2, 2023, by a vote of
Purpose: The purpose of the bill was to increase Vermont’s record $8.3 billion Fiscal Year 2023 budget to $8.6 billion, up from $7.9 billion in 2022.
Vermont’s government has always adjusted its spending in years past to align with new budgetary information as it becomes available. Vermont’s 2022 budget adjustment act was completely without controversy, passing the House 140-0. The 2023 adjustment on the other hand, was the largest in Vermont’s history, due to the sudden availability of emergency Covid funds, for which no bipartisan consensus could be found.
These funds can be divided into two categories: Base Appropriation Adjustments (BAA’s which reflect agreed upon appropriations from last year with updated totals) and One-Time Expenditures (which do not infer funding in future years).
Base Appropriation Adjustments highlights:
- $22 million to increase Brattleboro Retreat’s bed count and per diem payroll increase
- $21 million increase for medical education training
- $11 million for traveling nurses
One-Time Expenditures highlights:
- $50 million to create long term housing through the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board “to provide affordable mixed-income income rental housing and homeownership units; improvements to manufactured homes and communities; recovery residences; and, if determined eligible, housing available to farm workers and refugees.”
- $30 million to expand broadband internet, which gives Vermont access to an $84 million grant from the federal government
- $21 million to house the homeless from April-June
- $9 million for Vermont’s 136 organic dairy farmers
Analysis: Those voting YES believe the spending increases will improve the lives of Vermonters, with a clear emphasis on meeting housing needs.
Those voting NO were concerned about the lack of thorough planning with many of the funding increases. They worried about the Emergency Housing Program, funding the Organic Dairy Industry, and the new monies allocated toward the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, which is under no obligation to spread out the money across Vermont.
As Recorded in the House Journal, for Thursday, February 2, 2023, “Shall the bill be read a third time?, Rep. Lanpher of Vergennes demanded the Yeas and Nays, which demand was sustained by the Constitutional number. The Clerk proceeded to call the roll and the question, Shall the bill be read a third time?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 107. Nays, 33.” (Read the Journal, p. 116 -123).
Joint Fiscal Office analysis.
How They Voted
(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)
Julie Andrews (D-Westford) - YES
Larry Labor (R - Morgan) – NO