Gov. Shumlin Signs Bill to Help the Working Poor

By Joe Gullo

Published 06/18 2014 05:37PM

Updated 06/18 2014 06:17PM

WINOOSKI, Vt. - A new law will help the working poor in Vermont.

It's called the benefits cliff, when a person gets a raise and no longer qualifies for government benefits, but they actually lose money because the raise wasn't enough.

Governor Peter Shumlin signed a bill on Wednesday that fixes that problem for Vermonters who receive Reach Up.

Reach Up is a program to help working families get back on their feet. The law, for example, amounts to a 4 percent increase for a single parent with two kids.

"If you're in a system where you get offered a raise from your boss and you get punished for taking it, what does that say about the incentive to work?" Gov. Shumlin said.

The governor says the new law does not add money to the state's budget. The money comes from savings in the program due to fewer caseloads.

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