Governors express support for AmeriCorps funding

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(Host) Governor Jim Douglas is joining with more than 40 other governors to urge Congress to restore full funding for the AmeriCorps program. Douglas, who is attending the summer meeting of the National Governor’s Association, says there’s strong support for the program among many of his colleagues.

In Vermont, more than 125 AmeriCorps members are working at a variety of non-profit programs — including substance abuse and elderly assistance. Unless Congress restores funds for the program, roughly 100 positions will be eliminated.

Some members of Congress are supporting cuts because AmeriCorps has experienced accounting problems in the last year. Douglas says it’s critical to fully fund AmeriCorps because the program provides valuable services in the state:

(Douglas) “We have a lot of volunteers and organizers around the state who have made this program work in Vermont. And to see the tremendous cut back that we’ve suffered this year is very troubling indeed. So I think it’s a program that has provided value both to the participants – to young people who have had a very meaningful experience during the summer – and also to the non-profit organizations and public entities that have been served.”

(Host) The House and Senate are expected to consider this issue as part of their deliberations over the supplemental budget bill.

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