Vermont Conservation Voters

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Climate Dispatch

Curious what’s happening at the State House and how you can make your voice heard? Tune into the online conversation by following the #ActOnClimateVT hashtag on social media, and watch our near-weekly legislative update posted shortly after 12PM on Fridays during the legislative session (and otherwise as needed). Missed one? Find all episodes here.

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May 28, 2021: Session wrap-up

We’re one week out from the adjournment of the 2021 legislative session. This year, policy makers made unprecedented investments in climate action—and so much more! Today we’re joined by VPIRG’s Climate and Energy Program Ben Edgerly Walsh for an interview about some of these gains.

We discuss the $50+ direct appropriations in weatherization, affordable community-scale renewable energy, transportation, and essential capacity-enhancing services at critical partner organizations, like community action agencies and regional planning commissions. Plus, we talk about the historic commitment to implementing the Climate Action Plan coming out of the Global Warming Solutions Act.

Learn more from VNRC and VCV about other significant state commitments to affordable housing, broadband, clean water, and more. Vermont also made important new commitments to building a 21st-century clean, affordable transportation system in the Transportation Bill (T-Bill). Find out more details here. 

Call to action

Please call or email your Senators and Representative(s) today and ask them to support a $200 million commitment to climate action in the budget. Both the House and Senate-passed versions of the budget included expanded investments in weatherization, low-income renewable energy projects and more. And the Senate-passed version included $100 million for implementation of the ensuing Climate Action Plan, as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act.

This influx of federal dollars presents a tremendous opportunity that Vermont must not pass up to invest in job creating, health-improving, equity-enhancing climate solutions!


May 21, 2021: Rebecca Ramos and the state budget

Today we are joined by Rebecca Ramos from the Necrason Group, who has been following the ins and outs of the budget process all year. As the Legislature wraps the FY 2022 budget, which includes an unprecedented $250 million investment in climate solutions over the next three years, it’s time to celebrate and highlight this historic commitment to climate action!

The investments include $50 million in direct appropriations for weatherization programs, low-income renewable energy initiatives and other strategies to support people and communities access clean energy and efficiency opportunities. The Legislature also committed $200 million in funding to implement the Climate Action Plan being developed right now by the state’s Climate Council.

This unprecedented level of funding will be essential in jumpstarting the transformation to a clean, more equitable energy economy, as we continue to work to identify and implement long-term funding solutions.

The transportation bill (T-Bill) also passed this week. The final version includes increased funding for clean vehicle incentives, EV charging stations, fare-free public transit, and more. 

Call to action

Please take a moment to send a note of thanks to your Representative(s) and Senator(s) for making this significant investment in climate action in the state budget! Thank you for all you do.


May 14, 2021: Climate Council & Legislative Updates

In this week’s Climate Dispatch we give an update on a few timely conversations and actions happening related to climate — the Climate Council, the state budget, and the Transportation Bill (T-Bill). The Climate Council’s work continues in earnest, largely through the leadership and efforts underway in the five subcommittees.

This week, the subcommittees have been meeting with the newly hired public engagement team which is mapping out a plan to hear from Vermonters — including many Vermonters who have too often not been at the table in these conversations — to begin to understand their climate impacts, concerns priorities, and the opportunities they see to do our part to reduce planet-warming pollution, while also ensuring a cost-effective, equitable, resilience-building transition. 

Call to action

Connected to but beyond the work of the Climate Council is the final push to wrap the FY 2022 state budget. This week, the Legislature’s Appropriations Committees — in a committee of conference — have been putting their final touches on finalizing a budget that the full Legislature will vote on next week. This is a critical moment.

Help ensure that Vermont makes the critical job-creating, equity enhancing investments in strategic climate programs by appropriating at least $200 million of American Rescue Plan Act dollars in the FY 2022 budget. Call or email your Representative(s) and Senator(s) today and ask for their support of a $200 million investment in climate action.


May 7, 2021: Rep. Selene Colburn

In this week’s Climate Dispatch, we are joined by Rep. Selene Colburn, the leader of the House Progressive Caucus and a member of the legislature’s Climate Solutions Caucus leadership team.

Rep. Colburn shares her view on the importance of – and strategic moment for – a significant investment in climate action in the FY 2022 budget, bolstered by the over $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan dollars.

The House and Senate Appropriations Conference Committee’s work is now underway, aimed at soon finalizing and voting upon next year’s budget. It’s our hope that the Legislature makes a serious commitment to climate; on par with the scale of the need – and the opportunity.

Call to action

Please call or email your Senators and Representative(s) today and ask them to support a $200 million commitment to climate action in the budget. Both the House and Senate-passed versions of the budget included expanded investments in weatherization, low-income renewable energy projects and more. And the Senate-passed version included $100 million for implementation of the ensuing Climate Action Plan, as required by the Global Warming Solutions Act.

This influx of federal dollars presents a tremendous opportunity that Vermont must not pass up to invest in job creating, health-improving, equity-enhancing climate solutions!

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