6 Dems threaten to derail budget unless emergency housing money restored

Published: May. 11, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT|Updated: May. 11, 2023 at 7:57 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - As the Legislative session approaches the finish line, a group of Democrats continues to threaten to sustain a potential budget veto from the governor unless money is added for the emergency hotel motel program for the homeless.

Federal cash for keeping the program is going to run dry, and on June 1 and July 31st, about 1,800 people will lose their hotel vouchers, essentially bringing the program back to pre-pandemic times.

The budget does include another $10 million for more caseworkers but not an extension of the hotel-motel program.

Advocates say they are outraged and have grave concerns about the fate of those who won’t be able to find shelter and some lawmakers say they are not confident of the state’s transition plans.

“There are various places in the budget where money is that we’re spending this year that we can move it. So, this is a political problem, a moral problem. It’s not a money problem,” said Rep. Mari Cordes, D-Lincoln.

Six lawmakers so far have pledged to vote to sustain a likely veto from the governor and 36 have also signed onto a letter urging for more funding.

Both chambers are slated to give final approval to the budget Friday.

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