Federal Stimulus Funding: Potential Climate, Clean Energy & Equity Opportunities
We know that millions of dollars are coming into Vermont from the federal government — in the form of the American Rescue Plan — for critical emergency and pandemic response measures. There is also a strong possibility of funding targeted toward infrastructure and climate coming a bit further down the road. While exact guidance around how American Rescue Plan dollars can be spent — and the lion’s share rightly prioritized for helping house, feed and otherwise support Vermonters in this challenging time — this first influx of over $1 billion offers a rare opportunity for meaningful investments in climate-beneficial strategies that also help foster greater public health, job creation, equity outcomes and resiliency now — and into the future. And a potential ensuing jobs and infrastructure bill offers similar promise, with a huge opportunity to rebuild our economy in ways that center economic justice, clean energy jobs and durable water, telecommunications and transportation systems that foster greater equity, efficiency, and public health outcomes for all.
There is a lot swirling, a lot of uncertainty remaining and also a lot of promise to target these once-in-a-generation dollars towards the most strategic, multi-beneficial solutions. We look forward to keeping you abreast of what’s happening — and what that could mean for your family, your communities and much-needed climate action. Find more information and resources below that might be helpful…
American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Resources:
- American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
- Helpful overview of what’s in the bill from the National Conference of State Legislatures
- Approximate allocation of revenues Vermont municipalities can anticipate rolling into their communities
- High-level overview provided by Rebecca Ellis, State Director for Congressman Peter Welch
American Jobs Plan Resources:
- White House fact sheet on the “American Jobs Plan”
- A Letter from 1200+ Local and State Elected Officials on the Opportunity
Week of April 2021 Update: State Conversations and Strategies for Federal Funds:
The Legislature is hard at work crafting a FY 2022 budget that outlines their initial plans for appropriating some — potentially not all — of the just-over $1 billion American Rescue Plan dollars to many important programs that serve Vermonters and Vermont businesses. Check out the March 2021 House-passed budget here. The Senate Appropriations Committee has been building off the House-passed budget and the full Senate is expected to take up the Senate Appropriations Committee’s recommended FY 2022 budget this week. Stay tuned for those results and ensuing conversations and changes that will take place in a House-Senate Conference Committee in the next couple of weeks. (To follow progress more closely, one easy way is to follow our weekly Climate Dispatch! Sign up today…)
The Legislature’s budget work and exploration of how to appropriate federal stimulus dollars is also informed by Governor Scott’s recommendations. A few weeks ago, Gov. Scott made clear his view on how to spend these one-time federal funds, recommending a $200 million downpayment on long-overdue climate action. For more specifics of Gov. Scott’s proposal, watch VNRC’s Climate Dispatch with Agency of Natural Resources Secretary Julie Moore.
Also: Click here to watch an April 19th webinar with staffers from Senator Leahy, Senator Sanders and Congressman Welch’s team, with a helpful overview of the current state of play with federal stimulus dollars, as well as answering important questions from Vermonters — and hearing their ideas — on potential strategic opportunities.