Gov. Peter Shumlin today signed into law a mid-year budget adjustment bill. In addition to increasing reserve funds, the bill provides funding to expand opiate and heroin addiction treatment, emergency housing services, homeowners and renters rebates, pesticide cleanup work in Rutland County, mental health services and more.
"I appreciate the Legislature's quick work on this budget bill, and especially thank the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and their chairs -- Sen. Jane Kitchel and Re. Martha Heath," Gov. Shumlin said. "We've all worked together to meet the needs of vulnerable Vermonters with a tight spending plan that also balances people's ability to pay the tab."
The Governor signed the bill at the Howard Center in South Burlington, a drug treatment facility that will receive a portion of the $200,000 included for reducing the treatment waiting list. The Howard Center will use the funding to expand staffing and hours to eliminate its backlog and enable more Vermonters to have immediate access to help and support in their battle against addiction. Efforts are underway to expand treatment options and availability across the state, as well.
In addition, the bill includes:
$6.8 million in savings in the state employee health insurance plan.
Medicaid - $ 7.17 million GF ($14.5 million gross) for updated consensus caseload and utilization and increased Catamount costs due to higher than expected enrollment between July and December.
General Assistance - $3.22 million, for temporary housing related to a two month delay in establishing regulation restrictions for catastrophic housing, and a support services cost increase.
Health Department - $250,000 for pesticide clean up in Rutland.
Vermont Veterans' Home - $2.85 million, which includes a Medicaid settlement from FY12 and FY13 per the Division of Rate Setting. There are also funds to cover a revenue shortfall as a result of lower than budgeted census (occupancy).
Transportation - $1.6 million in transportation funds to cover excessive winter maintenance costs and/or repairing pavement damage caused by winter weather.
Judiciary - $650,000 to cover a projected shortfall.
Homeowners & Renters Rebate - $960,000 represents the increased need after the majority of tax returns were processed.