The Vermont House Appropriations Committee began hearings this week a mid-year budget adjustment.
Although the full Vermont Legislature does not convene until next week, the House Appropriations committee is working on a bill that would make any necessary changes to the existing state budget. Committee Chair Martha Heath says because the session begins late this year, the House speaker felt she should begin hearings early.
Vermont Commissioner of Finance and Management Jim Reardon explains that the committee will craft a mid-year adjustment to the current budget based on an $11 million downward adjustment in the state's revenue forecast.
On Wednesday and Thursday, officials from the Agency of Human Services, including Mental Health, Aging and Disabilities, and Corrections were scheduled to testify before the committee. Jim Reardon, who also testified, says there are always mid-year adjustments, but some sectors are of concern this year.
Committee members are also hearing from the agencies of Commerce, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and the Department of Buildings and General Services. Committee Chair Martha Heath does not anticipate problems with any adjustments to this year’s budget.
The Shumlin Administration wants an additional $20 million in mental health spending as part of the mid-year budget adjustment. More than half of that is expected to be paid for by the federal government.
The budget adjustment will be put into a bill for debate on the House floor.