The almost unanimous tide of opposition to Governor Shumlin's plan to impose draconian time limits on Reach Up continued today with the release of this press release from the Vermont Commission on Women. This is not a group that takes political positions lightly, but they were clearly compelled by the necessity to defend poor women against this terrible proposal.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Lilly Talbert
Program & Communications Coordinator, Vermont Commission on Women
802-828-2841 / Cell: 802-498-8806
VERMONT COMMISSION ON WOMEN OPPOSES TIME LIMITS TO REACH UP BENEFITS
(Montpelier) The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) voted yesterday to oppose the current proposal establishing new time limits to Reach Up benefits. The VCW, a non-partisan state agency dedicated to legislative, economic, social, and political fairness, heard from all sides of this issue, carefully weighed the matter, and deliberated before taking this position.
The VCW is aware that the overwhelming majority of Vermont households receiving this cash assistance are women, and limits to this program will disproportionately affect female-headed families with children.
A number of facts lead the VCW to this conclusion. The lives of these families are complex. They often include challenges, such as lack of transportation, education and child care; mental health concerns; care of a child with a disability; or trauma from having survived domestic violence.
Executive Director Cary Brown summed up the VCW’s stance: “These are Vermont’s most fragile and vulnerable families. The Commission believes that budgetary concerns should not be balanced on the backs of those least likely to be able to function without government assistance.”
About the Commission: Launched in 1964 by a call to action from President Kennedy, The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is charged with reducing discrimination and encouraging opportunities for women. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women’s issues guide the VCWs public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts. VCW offers many services to the public, including a toll-free information and referral service at 1-800-881-156 and many publications, including the latest: The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont. For more information, visit www.women.vermont.gov.