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Join Vermont Interfaith Action in telling Gov. Shumlin How Important an open Budget Discussion is to

Vermont Interfaith Action will be holding a public event to aid in their movement toward a Moral Economy on Wednesday, December 2, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier (130 Main St). For more information on the event, read below:

Here’s why: For the past three months, Vermont Interfaith Action, in partnership with Public Assets Institute, has been presenting “Building Vermont’s Moral Economy” all across the state — in fact, in 10 different locations including Bennington, Brattleboro, Danville, Middlebury, Rutland, Burlington, and Montpelier. At these presentations, we’ve been making a case for acknowledging that all Vermont’s economic indicators — like the numbers of people on food stamps, the number of children living in poverty, the number of homeless persons, wages, and the real median household income — are headed in the wrong direction. Income inequality and poverty are getting worse in Vermont. If we can all agree that this situation is not morally acceptable, then we must take action. As a manageable first step, VIA and Public Assets are asking for Governor Shumlin to publicly publish a “Current Services Budget” — a projection of the real cost of providing all of the public services the state has said, through laws and policies, it is committed to provide. This additional column in the state budget would show the numbers of dollars it would actually take to run state programs and meet the assessed needs of Vermonters. This would accomplish three things:

1. Provide information for an open and honest conversation about the real conditions of the state budget 2. Enable a state budget process that could then be designed to start with people, and not just manage to the available money 3. Comply for the first time with 2012 session law that requires the Governor to publish the Current Services Budget On December 2nd we will hold one of our “Actions” and make this request of Governor Shumlin publicly. We must demonstrate that people of faith care deeply about the immorality of our current economy, and that we strongly desire the transparency a Current Services Budget will provide — and we can do that best with a large number of people in attendance.

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