Administration's Budget Cutting Vital Services

Karen Topper and Nicole LeBlanc of Green Mountain Self-Advocates, which is building a movement for self-advocacy by people with developmental disabilities, ask if the role of government is not to meet the basic needs of its most vulnerable citizens, then what is it?
To meet a recent lowering of the state’s revenue forecast, the Shumlin administration proposed a plan to cut some $22 million from the General Fund, and find $9 million more from various small funds the state administers. But the lion’s share of the cuts would come from the Agency of Human Services, which receives matching federal funds, resulting in a loss of another $14 million in federal funds, so the total reduction would be $36 million.
The task of writing a budget should be to deliver the services people need, that are our rights as human beings, and then figure out how to raise the revenues to effectively meet those needs. How much revenue the state raises, and how it raises that revenue, are political decisions. There’s nothing inevitable about any of it.
Nicole asks why the emphasis is on cutting services vital to recipients daily living, rather than asking the wealthy to pay their fair share. “What values are we using to guide our decision-making?” It is urgent that Vermont legislators call an emergency session to raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations.