Advocates Decry Cuts To Vt. Reach Up Program

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Advocates and beneficiaries say Governor Peter Shumlin’s plan to cut a key welfare-to-work program by limiting the amount of time people get benefits will inrease poverty and homelessness in Vermont.

Shumlin wants to put a three-year limit on the time someone can be getting public assistance while they try to go to school or get into the workforce. His plan would allow two later extensions of benefits to total five years over a person’s lifetime.

People affiliated with Vermont Legal Aid and the Vermont Workers’ Center held a news conference on Thursday to say that the proposed change to the state’s Reach Up program will leave 1,200 Vermont households without any income as of October 1.

Shumlin has argued Vermont is currently the only state without a time limit.

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