Legislature may need special summer session to spend new federal $$

Photo credit CRFB.org

by Guy Page

The Vermont Legislature may need a special summer session to spend all of the money bestowed on the State of Vermont by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, Vermont lawmaker David Yacovone (D-Morristown) said in the March 4 News & Citizen.

“Why would a special session of the Legislature be needed? Well, to be clear it may not be needed, but if these funds come to Vermont in April as speculated, and given the Legislature is set to adjourn in mid-May, things will have to move very quickly,” said the veteran lawmaker who is a key member of the House Appropriations Committee. “To manage a thoughtful plan for investing an additional $900 million in one-time expenditures could be a tall order.”

Rep. Dave Yacovone

Vermont’s haul is now closer to $1.3 billion after the version approved by the US Senate over the weekend included an additional $400 million, thanks in part to the work of Sen. Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Yacovone said, “some may say spending $900 million is easy peasy. After all, just look at our roads. Fix them! Or how about using some of these funds to fix our pension challenges?” However current limitations prevent Montpelier from spending this money on anything but Covid-related expenses – and roads and pensions don’t pass that test, he said.

Housing might, though, given the rise in homelessness due to Covid, Yacovone suggested.

At present, none of our federal or state elected officials seem to be addressing another fiscal question raised by the $1.9 trillion spending package: who will pay for it, and how, and when?

When asked this question by Vermont Daily at last Friday’s press conference, Gov. Phil Scott said: “I don’t know. I’m sure it has to do with our children and our grandchildren.”

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates debt from the American Rescue Plan Act alone could be $4.1 trillion if spending and tax credits are eventually extended. America’s national debt is on track to be 130% of our Gross National Product within 10 years, the committee estimates.

On March 4, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that US budget is on an “unsustainable trajectory” in which debt will be double the size of the economy in 30 years.

A CRFB statement warns that “any policies in the American Rescue Plan Act that lawmakers intend to make permanent should be offset, and future extensions should certainly be fully offset with tax increases or spending restraint…..Ultimately, high debt levels will slow income and wage growth, increase interest payments, place upward pressure on interest rates, reduce the fiscal space available to respond to a recession or other emergency, place an undue burden on future generations, and heighten the risk of a fiscal crisis.”

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10 replies »

    • So they lowering the drinking age ,and do they need to sign up for selective service at that age also, you politicians are retarded, and if you raise minimum wage you raising Social security payments also, seams fair

  1. I’m completely “confident” that this will be $$ very well spent – like getting that whole brothel thing going here in VT, or funding another “study” as to which mind-altering drug to legalize next, or figure out what other biodegradable articles we need to exclude from our household trash in order to dramatically impact climate change – as Vermont futilely continues to feign that they are somehow effectively reducing the constantly rising C02 emissions caused by the pollutants that nations such as Communist China and India spew.

    In the end however, as long as we have funds left over from these such worthy causes that we can emblazon our public streets with additional purely political, radicalized, and violent organizations’ monikers under the guise of “social justice” – we should be “good to go”!

    Keep Vermont, Vermont.

    • Born and raised in Central Vermont, and probably due to our proximity to Goddard, we used to (jokingly!) say “keep Vermont weird”, but man this is getting ridiculous !

  2. “a thoughtful plan ” ? Wow must be a first. We need “a thoughtful plan” to spend tax payers money ? What’s next ? An unfettered right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ? The dickins you say !

  3. Our legislators in Vermont needlessly stayed in session last year way over the limit,and this year if the bailout money comes that will bankrupt our Nation,the least our legislators can do is put there agendas in high gear and dismiss on time!! And please defund the GWSA,and support for illegal aliens,and concentrate on helping Vermont!!

    • Never gonna happen, Charles. These lawmakers have ALREADY made it clear that they intend to bring in more refugees DESPITE the fact that when many get here, and their financial assistance runs out, they continue to live in poverty here just as they did in their country of origin. It’s not about the betterment of their lives nor about the greater good for Vermonters – it’s about these lawmaker’s’ never-ending quest to pander to “social justice” warriors & take it upon themselves to socially engineer & dramatically alter Vermont’s unique culture.

      And be prepared for yet more taxpayer monies sent to illegal aliens which merely, but of course, enable and encourage future illegal activities in VT.

  4. They will be like kids in a candy store – federal money – aka our tax dollars – climate change, gender reassignments, reparations, free syringes, free vaccines, free masks, illegal alien homesteads….it’s all over for this State – it will never be right again by the looks of the clowns running it

  5. vermont has become the mini california, same mindless spending, same liberal pipe dreams, same ,house, feed, care, for everyone regardless that there’s no jobs, not enough housing, and it leads to crime, drug addiction and a drain on the state coffers but that’s o.k. tax the working class and business owners to death, they can pay. All those hippies that arrived here in the late 60s and immediately ran for office are in charge! it’s Animal farm all over!