House Votes To Save State Hospital Canteen

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The Vermont House has voted to give the canteen at the Vermont State Hospital a reprieve.

The cafeteria had been slated for closure under cuts called for by the state Department of Mental Health. But its supporters say it is an important part of therapy for many patients.

They say it provides socialization that can help patients prepare for return to the community, and that access to it is a privilege that can be used as an incentive for good behavior.

On Tuesday, the House voted 115 to 6 – against the wishes of the Appropriations Committee – to join the Senate in giving the Canteen until March 15 to come up with a plan to become revenue neutral. It cost the state about $80,000 to run it last year.

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