After months of dire warnings from housing advocates, after several weeks of repeated posts on This Here Blog (starting on March 26), a handful of lawmakers has finally stood up and taken notice.
With a single week left until scheduled adjournment, six members of the House Democratic caucus announced they would not vote to override a gubernatorial veto of the FY24 budget unless there was funding for a transition strategy from the motel voucher program to a replenished supply of permanent housing.
This takes real guts. They’re taking a public stand in opposition to Legislative leadership, which has been 100% committed to ending the voucher program by the end of June despite the fact that two thousand-plus Vermonters would be kicked out on the streets. The budget has sailed through the House and Senate, and is now before a conference committee tasked with crafting a consensus spending plan.
And now comes a squadron from the Rebel Alliance with Rep. Mari Cordes playing the part of Luke Skywalker, determined to drop a proton torpedo down the hatch of the budgetary Death Star. It’s inspiring, but it also leaves me wondering why it took this long.Continue reading