The Vermont Water Caucus is pleased that Governor Phil Scott recognized that Vermont must establish substantially increased long-term funding to restore and protect water quality in our rivers, streams, lakes and ponds this year.
However, the additional revenue proposed by the Governor appears to fall short of the funding level needed to meet Vermont’s legal obligation to establish water funding that has been outstanding since 2015.
In addition, the Water Caucus opposes the Governor’s proposal to rely on existing revenue to fund protecting Vermont’s waters. We cannot take money from other important existing programs to address water quality issues in Vermont – we need new revenue to tackle this challenge.
The Water Caucus has developed a series of principles that we believe should be applied to any water funding proposal, which can be found here. A key principle is that funding sources must be stable and sufficient to meet our needs. Utilizing the Estate Tax does not create a stable source of revenue, because it varies substantially over time, and diverts money from existing programs.
With that said, the Water Caucus looks forward to working with the Legislature and the Administration to attain our shared goal of sufficient, stable long-term water quality funding this year.
Find our principles here: The Water Caucus | Clean Water Funding Principles