Leahy announces $212 million for Vermont projects in Senate Appropriations bills

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Leahy announces $212 million for Vermont projects in Senate Appropriations bills

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 12:14pm -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Monday announced that more than $212 million in Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) for 38 projects across Vermont were included in the Senate Appropriations bills that he released at the end of last week. The 12 annual Appropriations Bills fund the federal government.

Leahy was also able to secure formula funding increases and programmatic changes to support longtime Vermont priorities. The bills must now go through conference negotiations before being passed by the House and Senate and signed into law by the president.

Leahy said:  “As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee I was proud to work with community leaders across our great state to identify projects and priorities that would make a real difference in the lives of Vermonters.  Whether it is supporting the revitalization of our historic downtowns, or providing the resources to grow made-in-Vermont ideas into national programs, these bills make worthwhile investments across Vermont.”

Highlights include:

Burlington International Airport: Leahy secured $34 million in CDS to support the renovation and expansion of Vermont’s international Airport. Before the pandemic, as many as 17,000 people boarded flights out of BTV a week.

University of Vermont: Leahy secured $30 million in CDS for the University of Vermont’s Honors College.  The funding will support programmatic development at the Honors College, promoting intellectual integrity, accountability and leadership among students.  In programmatic funding, Leahy secured $15 million for UVM’s Institute for Rural Partnerships, $13 million for the Food Systems Center, $10 million for the Rural Centers Against Addiction, $2 million for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research, and $5 million to establish a new Climate Impacts Center of Excellence at the University.

Norwich University: Leahy secured $16.4 million in CDS for the Norwich University Multi-disciplinary Cyber Fusion Research and Development Center to create educational and workforce training opportunities in areas such as cybersecurity, information operations and dominance, computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and real-time decision making practices.

Lake Champlain: Leahy has long championed Lake Champlain as Vermont’s crown jewel.  To support Vermont’s ‘Great Lake,’ Leahy secured $25 million for the Lake Champlain Geographic Program, and $11 million for the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission for Lake Champlain and Lake Memphremagog in programmatic funding. 

Revitalizing Vermont Communities: Leahy has long advocated and secured investments in Vermont’s historic downtowns and community centers, describing them as being “at the heart of who we are as Vermonters.”  In the new annual Appropriations bills that Leahy has now released, he secured millions of dollars in funding to preserve these community treasures, including:

  • $40 million in programmatic core funding for the Northern Border Regional Commission;
  • $12 million in CDS to support the Vermont Agency of Transportation revitalize of Cherry Street and improve pedestrian access to the Church Street Marketplace;
  • $10 million in CDS for the Preservation Trust of Vermont Village Community Trust Initiative to provide assistance for 20 communities across Vermont;
  • $10 million in CDS for the Vermont Department of Libraries Public Facilities Preservation Initiative to help preserve and support libraries in our small, rural communities;
  • $500,000 in CDS for the historic preservation of Shelburne Farms’ Historic Farm Barn;
  • $500,000 in CDS for the historic preservation for Fletcher Free Library’s Historic Reading Room in Burlington; and
  • $200,000 in CDS for the historic preservation for Kimball Public Library in Randolph.

Other CDS priorities for Vermont secured by Leahy include:

  • $2.35 million – Leahy Center for Lake Champlain;
  • $8 million – Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) – Innovation Hub;
  • $8.5 million – Vermont Energy Investment Corporation – Clean Heat Homes;
  • $6.5 million – Saint Michael’s College – The Center for the Environment at Saint Michael’s College;
  • $5 million – Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence; and
  • $6.7 million – Vermont Air and Army National Guard projects.

Other programmatic funding priorities include:

  • $22 million – Organics;
  • $15 million – Farm to School Grants;
  • $3 million – National Center on Restorative Justice at Vermont Law School;
  • $12.5 million – Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants; and
  • $40 million – National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in White River Junction.

(MONDAY, Aug. 1, 2022) – Senator Patrick Leahy