In Vermont there is a feeling of “protect what we have.” While there was widespread talk about the need for cuts in the FY21 budget, there were no clawbacks in FY20. Early childhood education received attention, but it focused on getting people back to work, not the well-being of children, families, or the community. In the end, with better-than-forecasted tax revenues and federal assistance, Vermont was able to avoid making large spending cuts in the FY21 budget. However, large cuts may be proposed in FY22, as the economic impacts of COVID-19 further erode the state’s tax revenues.
The legislature approved three bills that allocated about $600 million from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to provide emergency relief to Vermonters. The bills included a wide variety of provisions that will benefit the state’s early childhood community.