Vermont lawmakers preparing COVID-19 relief package

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Vermont lawmakers are preparing a COVID-19 relief measure to provide assistance to people and businesses across the state while waiting for Congress to pass a bigger package.

The plan being considered supports a variety of programs for children, businesses and long-term investments in health care.

Lawmakers say they can’t wait for the $1.9 trillion national package being considered in Washington.

“We have to be ready for that, but until it happens, that money isn’t real yet,” said Democratic Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balint.

The package, which doesn’t have a price tag yet, but would be in the tens of millions of dollars range, would be paid for by leftover federal cash and one-time money from the governor’s budget.

One specific suggestion would be $10 million for business grants, with a cap of $150,000, aimed at businesses that weren’t helped by other programs.

(Copyright (c) 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)