Working mom Erin Star Hughes pays roughly 40 percent of her income to child care costs. "I believe that I spend 9 to 10 thousand dollars a year on childcare, if not more," Hughes said,
Rebecca Rectenwald is forking over roughly $100 a week to get her little girl cared for while she's at work. "We don't have a car, we ride the bus, we have Dr. Dinosaur, we have WIC," she said.
Governor Shumlin is pushing a plan he says will help bring those costs down. He wants to use $17 million from the state's Earned Income Tax Credit to do it.
Under the proposal a single mom with two kids, in child care, making around $40,000 a year would go from paying roughly $850 a month for child care, to $300 with the new subsidies.
"You often hear people say, well you know you are taking from one group and giving to another. I argue no, you are making a choice about Vermont's future," Shumlin said.
Chris Curtis with Vermont Legal Aid said tapping into the EITC is the wrong answer. "This is a cornerstone for low-income, working Vermonters and we want to see it preserved and protected," he said.
Curtis said thousands of Vermonters depend on the tax credit to pay for things like rent, food and fuel. He argues that Shumlin should look elsewhere to cover the expanded benefits, but offered no suggestions. "That's a question for the Legislature and a question for the administration and they should be looking at all the possible options, not just honing in on one benefit program that we know already works for working Vermonters," he said.
Shumlin took on critics challenging him to dip into another pot, saying the options are limited. "Talking about alternatives sound great until you try and go find them," he said.
Shumlin's child care plan is part of a larger effort to transform Reach Up, the state's welfare program. He said it's a much-needed move to fix a broken system. "Our current system freezes our kids in poverty, it freezes our parents in poverty and we can do much better," he said.
A big question now is whether the governor will be able to get the Legislature on board.
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:06 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:06:03 GMT
Vermont State Police have charged 22-year-old Adam Page of Newport for stealing the Newport City Elementary School bus, which has now been declared totaled. A stolen dog was also recovered in the busMore >>
State Police say he is also being charged with the theft of two other vehicles and a woman's dog.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:45 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:45:20 GMT
State police are looking for the person responsible for stealing a school bus and taking it for a joyride in northern Vermont. Troopers say the 2014-model bus belonging Newport City Elementary SchoolMore >>
Police say the school bus belonging to the Newport City Elementary School was taken for a joy ride Friday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:10 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:10:53 GMT
A fatal accident in Lyndon Saturday. It happened around 2:30 Saturday afternoon on Route 122. Police say 76-year-old Gerda Blaszczyk of St. Johnsbury swerved to avoid an animal. Her car travelled up anMore >>
Police say the driver swerved to avoid an animal.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:03 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:03:45 GMT
Senator Bernie Sanders is touring the state this weekend with a special guest. Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings in Burlington, Brattleboro and Montpelier. TheMore >>
Sanders and the Danish Ambassabdor to the United States are hosting town hall meetings.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:56 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:56:03 GMT
Saturday marked a new beginning for Castleton State College students. "Were all gathered here, getting fired up, having a good time," explained Castleton graduate, David Carrier. The 500 graduates hadMore >>
It's graduation day for the class of 20-13 at Castleton State College. And just for the occasion, the college invited back an alumnus with a strong connection to the school.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:51 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:51:14 GMT
Young bikers were learning the rules of the road in South Burlington Saturday. Kids who brought their bikes to the Dorset St. Park received free checks for their brakes, chains, and tires. Helmets alsoMore >>
and much more... making sure kids are safe before they hit the roads this summer.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:49:26 GMT
On a sun-soaked Saturday, Karen Trayah and her dogs enjoyed the sights, sounds, and of course smells of a festival for fidos. "It's called Woofstock, however, this is our 1st year doing it here at theMore >>
Making sure our furry friends have a place to call home.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:54 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:54:10 GMT
The door to room 118 at the Liberty Inn and Suites is gone-- busted by police during an early morning drug raid. They say tenant Julie Herron, 41, was selling heroin out her room. She was living thereMore >>
A South Burlington drug bust exposed new abuses of the state's homeless voucher program. A couple was arrested for selling heroin out of their motel room, and police say the state was footing the bill for their stay.More >>