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Shumlin administration proposes midyear budget change

Source: Burlington Free Press, Jan 11, by Nancy Remsen “MONTPELIER– Lawmakers began work Monday analyzing about $6.8 million in midyear budget increases presented by the Shumlin administration. “I think it should move quickly,” Finance Commissioner James Reardon said. “I don’t believe we put anything in this budget that is controversial, so I believe the Legislature will try to expedite this so they can begin the hard work to achieve a balanced budget for FY 2012.” The changes the administration proposes include making up for about $3.2 million that won’t be saved as projected under the Challenges for Change restructuring that the Legislature and then-Gov. Jim Douglas agreed upon last year. State officials failed to find $2 million in savings from economic development programs and $1.1 million from transforming some programs in state government to more self-sufficient “charter units.” Reardon said expenses in the Agency of Human Service jumped by $6.2 million, in part because more people than expected enrolled in the state’s welfare programs. The budget request covers the expenses to add 20 more staff to the Department for Children and Families to address severe backlog that developed as the department moved to a more computerized system. Reardon said the department had savings that cover most of the cost of those workers for the next six months. The impact of adding the staff will hit in next year’s budget. The budget proposal also includes $500,000 to ease pressure on emergency shelters, a sum Gov. Peter Shumlin promised homeless advocates last week even before he became governor…” Full Story: Shumlin administration proposes midyear budget change. PDF of Story: Shumlin administration proposes midyear budget change.

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