MONTPELIER — The Vermont House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a multi-million dollar bill that includes $10 million in relief for businesses that did not quality for federal CARES Act dollars last year.
The bill, H. 315, was drafted by the House Appropriations Committee, also provides $20 million in down payment on the state’s unfunded pension liability, $10 million for outdoor recreational trails and recreation, $10 million for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and $1.4 million for for Vermont Foodbank, among other needs.
It also sets aside $15 million for school air quality, as well as funding for mental health support and programs assisting new immigrants.
The House passed the bill 142-4. A third reading is expected Friday.
The pension paydown, while a small portion of the estimated $600 million growth in the state’s unfunded pension liability, is intended as a signal to Wall Street bond rating agencies that the state is serious about addressing the problem.
The bill now heads to third reading.