We believe that we can and must shape pandemic response and recovery measures that address multiple challenges simultaneously — including public health, affordability, equity, and the climate crisis. By making strategic investments via the state budget, transportation bill, and using federal stimulus funds, we can:
Help Vermonters save money and have more options for getting where they need to go.
Significantly increase investments in programs included in the Transportation Modernization Act:
- Make all Vermont public transit free over the long-term, and begin to electrify our bus fleets.
- Provide direct incentives for lower-income Vermonters to buy used vehicles that are more efficient, reliable, and affordable, including hybrid vehicles.
- Build electric vehicle infrastructure in underserved, lower income, and rural locations, including workplaces, multi-unit dwellings, and public charging sites.
- Provide choices other than driving, by incentivizing motor-assisted bikes, prioritizing improvements to key bicycle corridors and pedestrian infrastructure, and improving the implementation of Complete Streets that are safe for all users.
Cut costs to heat our homes and small businesses, and create good-paying union jobs.
- Provide direct incentives to low- and moderate-income Vermonters to weatherize their homes, which will save them money on their monthly heating bills and make their homes healthier and more comfortable.
- Invest in workforce training programs for energy efficiency and green technologies.
Cut electricity costs for our homes and small businesses.
- Help people and small businesses dig out of this crisis right now by investing in programs that help qualified people and businesses pay off unpaid utility bills.
- Invest in programs like Efficiency Vermont’s “Free Energy Efficient Products and Appliances” initiative to help people who are paying a large share of their household income toward monthly electric bills to access free energy efficient products.
- Invest in programs to help low- and moderate-income Vermonters access renewable energy solutions, like solar.
While one-time funding opportunities from the federal government can help spur investments in these programs this year, the state must also work toward long-term funding solutions, including through participation in a just and equitable Transportation & Climate Initiative that prioritizes stakeholder engagement led by members of historically marginalized communities, and program parameters that will lead to improved mobility, air quality, and accessibility while redressing past environmental and public health inequities.
Lawmakers must also continue to provide oversight and support to the Climate Council established through the 2020 Global Warming Solutions Act to ensure that the process is well-resourced and stays on track to deliver a strategic, effective, and equitable Climate Action Plan. The planning process must particularly focus on including BIPOC participants and other historically marginalized communities who are not currently included, and we must compensate participants appropriately for their labor on behalf of the state.
STATUS: The Legislature committed an unprecedented amount of funding: $250 million in climate and clean energy programs that will put Vermonters to work, save people money on their monthly energy bills and begin to address disproportionate energy burdens and other historic inequities. The transportation bill also included increased funding for clean vehicle incentives, EV charging stations, fare-free public transit, and more. This historic investment in building a clean energy economy will be critical in the state’s successful implementation of the Climate Action Plan, which is being developed following the enactment of the Global Warming Solutions Act last fall.