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Sen. Jane Kitchel and Rep. Martha Heath set out to make $10 million in reductions without touching human services programs.
The bill gives the commissioner of the Department of Children and Families sole discretion over whether parents who play by the rules can continue to receive benefits.
H.270 requires school districts to pay for at least 10 hours per week of pre-Kindergarten education for 35 weeks a year. About 40 towns do not offer publicly funded pre-K.
Appropriations Committee cuts $2 million from House version.
Senate Appropriations had no shortage of choices, between the administration’s two proposals, the House’s version, and the Senate Health and Welfare Committee’s recommendation.
After the Ways and Means Committee approved two amendments, Chair Janet Ancel, D-Calais, concluded, “I feel like we’ve gotten to a reasonable meeting point, so that nobody loves it.”
Public Assets Institute remains adamant that reducing the EITC by any amount is poor policy.
Gov. Peter Shumlin has capitulated on several items that lawmakers have heavily criticized.
“After months of trying to find alternatives through policy changes and system, it is now our opinion that the only sure way to save $2.5 million would be through rescission,” DAIL Commissioner Susan Wehry said.
State departments and agencies must absorb about $5 million in cuts this year; the governor will not “backfill” the reductions with taxpayer money.