Governor’s plan draws more fire

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



(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 

3 thoughts on “Governor’s plan draws more fire

  1. The Reach Up cap was already in some trouble in the Legislature. The VCW’s action will add some heft to the opposition, and might make a big difference.  

  2. most of those likely to be most affected would be women and their children this is wonderful. Hopefully Shumlin will awaken to the reality that this mission helps no one and hurts the already overburdened and most vulnerable.

  3. He wants to impoverish the poor by two ways now: time limit on Reach Up, and eliminating the ETIC.  He refuses to make the wealthy pay their fair share, even after the rich have bounced back from the GOP crash of 2008, while the poor have not.

    How is Shumlin a Democrat again?  Or is it that all VT Democrats are now moderate Republicans (since the Republican politicians in Vermont seem to have abandoned the moderate position to he Democrats and retreated to the far-right, extremist crazy land with their national bretheren)?  Does no one represent the poor people of Vermont?  The Progressives?  

    The basics of state government work like this: Figure out how much money the state needs to spend and then make the obscenely rich pay for it.  The bizarrely  rich are so busy pitchforking their stacks of $1,000 bills into their offshore bank accounts, they won’t even notice a tax increase – in fact they might even thank the poor for helping reduce the size of the pile of cash they have to shovel into their bank accounts!  

    But obviously, Shumlin is NOT a Democrat, raising taxes on the very, very poor and cutting off their sole source of cash – unless all Vermont Democrats agree that the below-poverty-level poor should pay much higher taxes and not get cash subsidies.

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