State Government

$1.5 million State House cafeteria redesign panned

Vermont State House cafeteria today. Page photo

By Guy Page

Gov. Phil Scott is criticizing the Legislature for passing a budget adjustment bill earlier this week that allocates $1.5 million of federal money to (he said at his press conference Tuesday) “redesign the State House cafeteria.”

H679, the 2022 Budget Adjustment Act, allocates $1.5 million “for the State House expansion planning design.” According to House Institutions committee members, that plan would spend Covid-related federal funds to add legislative meeting space to the State House.

The need for more space became especially apparent when Covid restrictions required social distancing. The study committee determined that building up, not out, is the only viable option.

As conceived by a summer study committee, the redesign would add six committee rooms in the current cafeteria space and build a new cafeteria on a second, yet-to-be-constructed floor. It would be paid for mostly by federal Covid recovery funds. The redesign would be carried out by a retired state architect, a summer study committee member said today.

“That million and a half dollars just to design a new cafeteria is going to lead to about 25 or 30 million dollars of ARPA money or some money spent on something that I think could be utilized in other areas,” Scott said. 

“Do you mean the proposal to potentially build another floor on top of the cafeteria?” a reporter asked. “They’re talking about using the existing eating area for more committee rooms, so they’re actually building a new cafeteria,” Scott explained.

The annual budget adjustment bill tweaks the previous year’s budget, depending on funding resources. Last year saw an influx of federal spending, so budget adjustment has been focused on how best to spend that new revenue.

24 replies »

  1. Everyone of these pampered elites need to bring their own bag lunches to work every single day. Just like the working Vermonters they claim to represent.

  2. Just what we need, more room for them to breed more of their kind in ! What we really need is fewer of them, which would equal less $$$$$ from us.

  3. I think the need for meeting space could be met without all this fuss and money spent. Being old enough to remember the “old” State House cafeteria (not to mention the one across the street at Motor Vehicle, which was even more awful), the current one strikes me as quite luxurious.

  4. You’ve got to be kidding me???? I’m sure if those people actually had ANY brains they could find a way accomplish the goal without spending this kind of cash. Ridiculous!!!! Meanwhile regular Vermonters are scrimping, doing without and making do. Unbelievable.

  5. There are two buildings on Baldwin St.(7 & 11) on the the west side of the Capitol that the state did not already own the last that I knew. 7 is already an office building, 11 is/was a private home. Both/either are big enough for several “Committee Meeting Rooms.”

  6. It’s a wonderful cafeteria, needs nothing.They can’t steal us blind enough as it is. They want to have secret meeting rooms so they can do during their lunches too, away from the public and press. How very convenient, how very soviet.

  7. Yup well you know it takes 5ish months to make a 12 month budget; I say make it 2 months.. and yes bring your lunch like the rest of us….who can afford to “eat out” everyday…..Our legislatures obviously can…….unreal

  8. Please understand – is flush with cash. So much of it, in fact, that they’re scrambling for ways to spend it. Yes, they could pay down unfunded retirement obligations and refund property taxes. And while they are doing so to some extent, for example, $45 million to property tax refunds, it’s pennies compared to what they’ve received.

    Think of it, VT received more than $10 billion in Covid related subsidies in the last year, not counting all the money the healthcare institutions received. That’s twice the State’s annual budget. And they’ve raised $5 billion from normal sources to add to the $10 billion windfall. What’s a couple of million for a cafeteria?

    My opinion: Let them eat cake!

  9. I certainly can’t condone spending $1.5 million to design a new cafeteria with suites of meeting rooms for the lackluster legislature, much less spending millions more to actually build those new rooms. They don’t deserve that accommodation.
    The only addition to the State House cafeteria that I would authorize would be to hang on the walls the framed photographs of the hard working Vermonters who the cabal of progressive liberal democrats in the legislature are screwing on a regular basis.
    And I agree with Stu–they need to bring their own lunch in a paper bag–no plastic…

  10. Spend our money on themselves. What’s new?

    My question is if they can spend this money frivolously on things not covid related they why don’t they spend it on reducing our debt or better reducing taxes and fees for everything.

    How about rising food costs, hell most of can no longer afford to eat outside of our home and the way this is going we will have to all grow our own food just to pay for gas.

    These progressives are the Nazi’s they claim that the Trump supporters were. It’s called projection and these people are the worst.

    • the 1.5 is just for the redesign, not the actual work. we need to Sh–can all of them and start new. I thought the covid relief funds were to give relief to the Vermonters not the elitist in the capitol

  11. Moving the cafeteria is an expensive part. (Think remodeling your kitchen). They have done with their meeting space for decades. They can make do. That money could be used for much more than representatives’ cushy surroundings. Uncomfortable meeting rooms make for shorter, useless meetings.

    • Now that’s a great thought Joseph on making meetings shorter! Might even get the legislature back to a more reasonable timeframe!

  12. I told you.. The greedy socialist out-of staters under the dome will use the windfall for their pet projects instead of taking care of Vermonters. That money can be put to better use than filling their lying mouths.. Knowing these fools they will hire a renowned chief to cook for them. They need to get off their lazy A$$ and pack a lunch bag

  13. Guaranteed thats “covid” money. Freshly printed and borrowed from china with Lord knows what kind of interest that we, our kids and theirs will be forced to pay.

  14. And to add insult to injury…
    There’s also a BGS solicitation out on the streets for design & construction management services to completely renovate/upgrade the SH’s entire HVAC system.
    Funny this “Cafeteria” redesign is not even mentioned as part of the building systems upgrades.

    Yup, another “let them eat cake” moment being thrust upon the working class here in our state.
    I say thrust upon us, but in reality being shoved up in us you know where!!!

    I agree with others here, why not use Baldwin street for meetings? It was looked at to renovate 11 Baldwin to accommodate better ventilation & IAQ for those so called meetings, but guess they decided to roll it all into a cafeteria instead.

  15. Wow. Now I know how my husband feels when I suggest replacing something that is still good. The difference is that I actually earn the money to be spent on the “wish list” of projects. It’s always easier to spend other peoples hard earned dollars. I suspect many politicians become numb to the concept of fiscal responsibility they owe to the taxpayers. Compound that numbness with group think and you get to rip out the perfectly fine cafeteria.

  16. Reminds me of the $2000.00 toilet seats that the CIA ordered. I hope its really going to build infrastructure for COG. we’re going to need it if and when the false flags start flying to incriminate our enemies. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

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