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ACT SUMMARY 2007-2008


ACT NO. 68


Human services; child poverty council

This act creates the Vermont child poverty council to examine child poverty in Vermont and recommend to the governor and general assembly ways to improve the financial stability and well-being of children. It dictates that the council must develop a 10-year plan to reduce by at least 50 percent the number of children in Vermont living in poverty. The council will consist of several members or their designees, including six legislators; the commissioners of the departments for children and families, of health, of education, and of labor; and one representative each from Voices for Vermont’s Children, the Vermont low income advisory council, Vermont Legal Aid, and the Vermont superintendents’ association.

The act directs the council to meet up to six times while the general assembly is not in session and hold one public hearing in each of the 14 counties during the 2007 legislative interim. It specifies that the legislative council and joint fiscal office will provide staff support to the council.

The act requires the council’s 10-year plan to identify (1) the occurrence,

long-term effects, and costs of child poverty; (2) current statewide public and private programs addressing child poverty, their levels of state funding, any problems with the existing programs, and the percentage of the target population served by such programs; and (3) procedures and priorities to enable the state to reduce child poverty in Vermont by at least 50 percent by June 30, 2017. Any procedures and priorities identified must include improving or adequately funding programs and opportunities that provide parents and children access to workforce training and development, education, affordable housing, early care and education, after-school and mentoring programs, affordable health care, treatment programs and services, childhood nutrition, and Reach-Up and other agency of human services public benefits.

The council must submit its working plan to the house committees on appropriations and on human services and the senate committees on appropriations and on health and welfare by January 1, 2008. Starting January 1, 2009 and every year thereafter until January 1, 2018, the council must also report to these committees on its continued progress.

Effective Date: July 1, 2007

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont