MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) Congressman Peter Welch says the quicker Vermont lawmakers allocate Federal CARES Act money, the better.
Rep. Peter Welch
Vermont is receiving more than $1 billion in COVID-19 relief but only a fraction of that has been handed out.
The United States House of Representatives also passed to HEROES Act which would send another $1.4 billion to the Green Mountain State next year.
Welch says states need maximum flexibility when it comes to spending the money even if it means using it to fill budget shortfalls, which currently is not allowed.
"That is a debate that is it's absolutely essential that it be done in Montpelier. I will leave it to the Legislature and the governor to work that out. I think both of them are trying to do what is best for Vermonters. It's an ongoing negotiation. I think it is in everyone's best interest it gets resolved sooner rather than later," said Welch, D-Vermont.
Vermont faces a $375 billion deficit this year alone. Welch says if lawmakers can't close that gap, the state will be looking at "wicked" cuts to education that could have long-lasting effects.