Budget Cuts Will Hurt Children and Struggling Families

Rescissions already in effect:

  • Cuts to Early Education Grants, which provide additional educational services to 3-and 4-year-old Vermont kids at risk of school failure.
  • Reduction of Reach Up support services that assist people in overcoming work barriers.
  • Cuts to Community Mental Health Services, which means that child victims of sexual abuse will have to wait even longer for counseling services when there are already lengthy waiting lists in many communities.
  • Eliminate the Building Bright Futures Regional Councils Directors, which will virtually dismantle Vermont’s early childhood infrastructure of unified systems of health, early care and education services for young children.

Proposals:

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  • Delay a food benefit program, called Reach Ahead, for low-income working families and their children.
    Implement full-family sanctions in Reach Up (Vermont Temporary Aid to Needy Families program), terminating a family’s benefits if their parents do not comply with work requirements.
  • Count the SSI benefits of a disabled family member toward the family income, thus reducing the Reach Up benefits.
  • Increase premiums for Dr. Dynasaur, which helps low-income pregnant women and children under 18 receive affordable health insurance covering doctor visits for primary care and specialty care, hospitalization, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse services, dental care and eyeglasses. Dr. Dynasaur provides insurance for almost half of all children.
  • Reduce most grants to community nonprofits by 4%, this includes grants to homeless shelters, Food Stamp outreach, and residential programs providing 24 hour service to children and youth.
  • Decrease stipends to foster parents by 1%.
  • Eliminate 54 positions at the Department of Children and Families.

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