Some young students are enjoying the last couple of hours of the week at the King Street Center in Burlington. But the looming federal shutdown could mean significant cuts here and closures at similar facilities in Vermont and across the nation.
"Shutting the government down will slow down economic growth and job creation and it will also mean that many Vermont federal employees will not get a paycheck they deserve," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont.
Sanders says 5,000 federally-employed Vermonters would likely be affected if the government shuts down Oct. 1. He says Social Security and similar payments should continue, but processing could be slowed. Vermont National Guard members may face furloughs but haven't received orders yet.
"Certainly if a shutdown went for long that could pose real problems for the state," Vt. Administration Secretary Jeb Spaulding said.
Spaulding says he expects the crisis to be averted or short. He says the state could tap rainy day funds to float the federal drain.
"Certainly many if not most of them we don't have the capacity to pick up from the federal government," Spaulding said.
Food stamps and school lunch programs are set to lose dough. Head Start faces cutbacks on top of continuing cuts from last year's sequester. The state's association chairman says the cuts-- realized and looming-- make it hard to focus on their mission of providing services to low-income students and families.
"The most vulnerable at-risk children and families in the state," said Paul Behrman of Champlain Valley Head Start.
Sequester cuts totaled $800,000 in Vermont and meant the program no longer had space for 233 of the state's approximately 1,600 students. The state's programs are currently funded through October.
"If the government remains in shutdown, come that point, we'd have real concerns about keeping our doors open," Behrman said.
The Senate passed a measure Friday afternoon in an attempt to end the legislative stalemate. The House may choose to accept or reject it, but the two sides must reach agreement before Tuesday arrives to avoid at least temporary collateral consequences. Problems from a shutdown would be compounded if lawmakers cannot reach a deal on how to handle the country's debt.
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:49 PM EST2014-03-09 02:49:49 GMT
The Burlington Yoga Conference began Saturday at UVM's Davis Center. The event gives participants a chance to connect the mind body and soul through workshops they may not have access to on a daily basis.More >>
The Burlington Yoga Conference began 6 years ago and has become a staple in the community.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:29 PM EST2014-03-09 02:29:17 GMT
A warning for pet owners in our region. Coyotes are on the prowl. A biologist in New Hampshire says he has received more than 10 calls recently, in the Keene, New Hampshire area, for a deer that was takenMore >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 9:21 PM EST2014-03-09 02:21:44 GMT
As spring approaches, many Vermont homeowners prepare to work on their houses - so they head to the Burlington Home Show. And many Vermont small business owners - with their products and services on displayMore >>
Many business owners at the Burlington Home Show say the new health care system in Vermont is helpful, but some say it's causing a real headache.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:07 PM EST2014-03-09 01:07:08 GMT
A rally at the State House in Montpelier Saturday. A passionate group of dozens of women, and men, assembled in front of the State House Saturday for the Women's March for Dignity. They were demandingMore >>
Women's March for Dignity say they are demanding lawmakers support paid sick day policies for all workers.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>