Single moms can’t afford Shumlin cuts, says Vermont Commission on Women

In a somewhat unusual public foray into legislative politics, the Vermont Commission on Women this afternoon issued a statement opposing Gov. Peter Shumlin’s plan for welfare reform.

The 16-member commission, which bills itself as a “non-partisan state agency dedicated to legislative, economic, social, and political fairness,” said it weighed the matter carefully before determining the plan would have a disproportionate impact on single mothers.

Shumlin has proposed a five-year cap on welfare benefits, a cost-cutting measure he says will encourage impoverished Vermonters to get jobs. The move would shave about $6 million annually in human services costs, and kick about 1,200 families off the welfare rolls beginning in October.

In a release, the Vermont Commission on Women said 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 release said. “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.”

In a written statement, the commission’s executive director, Cary Brown, said Shumlin’s proposal targets those that can least afford it.

These are Vermont’s most fragile and vulnerable families,” Brown said. “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.”

6 thoughts on “Single moms can’t afford Shumlin cuts, says Vermont Commission on Women

  1. Our financial problems are due to the fraud and theft committed by Wall Street. Wall Street banks are doing better than ever and our Governor is asking single mothers some of the poorest and most stressed out populations to take the hit rather than raise any taxes on those connected to Wall Street, our richer residents. It is beyond unfair and it is sickening to see this is what all the Democrats in power are doing. Glossing over their adherence to the Wall Street agenda of austerity for the poor and impunity for the rich with a bit of social liberalism to cover up their reactionary money policies. These cuts speak for the real priorities of our millionaire Governor.

    • @zedthewizard
       I can not believe the VT Commission on Women put this out.  It is an insult to all of the single mothers in Vermont who support their families with out welfare, or support from their former spouses.  Next Shumlin should rid the state of the incompetent employees at the Department of Child Support Services, many of whom do more for the protection of deadbeat dads then to assist children with gaining the support they deserve-and then add insult to injury by treating working mothers as if they are the criminals.  I believe in big government, but I also think ineffective programs should shape up or ship out.

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