Shumlin draws heat for child care funding proposalBy DAVE GRAM
The Associated Press | January 16,2013AP PHOTO
Sen. Anthony Pollina, P-Washington, is joined by other lawmakers at a news conference Tuesday in Montpelier.MONTPELIER — When it comes to Gov. Peter Shumlin’s plan to take money from a tax program that helps low-income workers and put it into child care subsidies, Dawn Gingras understands both sides of the equation.
The 42-year-old Sheffield resident says state and federal earned income tax credits combined are a much needed supplement to her annual income from a job at a daycare center. She nets about $8,000 a year that she can add to her income of less than $25,000.
But at her job at Cherry Street PlayCare in St. Johnsbury, Gingras says she sees parents every day struggling to pay their share — after the state subsidy — to keep their kids in daycare so they can work.
“It’s going to hurt the low-income worker,” she said Tuesday of Shumlin’s plan to reduce what the state spends each year on the earned income tax credit from about $26 million to about $11 million. “That’s how I pay my property taxes.”
Since the governor proposed in his inaugural address last week to shift about $17 million from the tax credit program to child care subsidies, legislators and others have complained the plan would help poor working families by taking from other poor working families.
Some Progressive and Democratic lawmakers took aim Tuesday at the Democratic governor’s proposal, saying at a news conference that they were fully on board with more support for child care but want to see the money come from somewhere else. They want the earned income tax credit to be left alone.
Under the program, lower-income taxpayers get big tax refunds, often larger than the taxes they paid.
“The earned income tax credit is one of our most effective anti-poverty programs,” said Sen. Anthony Pollina of Washington County. “Diverting money from this important benefit is a tax increase on over 40,000 Vermonters who are least able to afford it: lower income people, working families, and others struggling to make ends meet.”
Rep. Chris Pearson, a Burlington Progressive, said he wants the state to have a discussion about possible new taxes, including a tax on the extraction of natural resources, which Vermont does not have.
A top aide to the governor replied to the criticism by saying Shumlin is trying to invest limited state dollars in the most effective way.
Human Services Secretary Douglas Racine said too many parents drop out of the workforce because they can’t afford the child care they need to allow them to work. Increasing child care subsidies, something state officials have talked about for years, would help many of them stay in the workforce and would mean their children could enroll in high-quality programs, he said.
“If we don’t help those families get their kids off to a good start, we pay for it down the road” in lower educational levels and rising prison populations, he said.MORE IN Vermont NewsMONTPELIER — The state’s unemployment rate dropped 0. Full StoryMONTPELIER — The state’s unemployment rate dropped 0. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.