Progress report on what Vt. lawmakers have left to finish this session

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT|Updated: May. 9, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont lawmakers were scheduled to wrap up last week, but they’re now in overtime.

The Legislature’s conference committee passed their final $7 billion state spending plan on Monday. It has just a few steps to go before it’s delivered to Gov. Phil Scott.

The final version of the budget includes over $10 million more for the State Colleges System

and an 8% increase for designated mental health and long-term care agencies.

But there’s still disagreement over an $84 million economic and workforce development bill on whether to include more money for Vermont’s remote worker program or whether to include a provision raising the minimum wage.

Top Senate budget writers say it has been an ambitious budget cycle.

“I really think historically the revenues between the federal dollars and the impact it’s had on state revenues have given us the opportunity to make investments and move forward on goals that are important for the future of this state,” said Sen. Jane Kitchel, D-Caledonia County.

However, workforce disagreements are just one piece of the puzzle.

Governor Scott has said he opposes provisions within an omnibus housing bill and has concerns about the direction of tax policies.

Scott has not shied away from vetoing the budget; he’s done it twice before.

Being in session on a Monday is rare for lawmakers.

The Senate is expected to meet into the night.

I’m told lawmakers are looking to adjourn by Thursday.

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