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.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>