On June 7, 2017

Budget veto could threaten older Vermonters

Dear Editor,

I write as the executive director of the Community of Vermont Elders (COVE), an organization that represents older Vermonters’ interests on the state level and has done so for more than three decades.  Given the economic realities of today, many older Vermonters struggle to live lives with dignity and respect in which their basic needs are met.

We were heartened by the budget the Legislature passed his session, which includes a 2 percent increase in funding for home- and community-based long-term care services such as Meals on Wheels, home health, adult day services, and area agencies on aging; expansion of LIHEAP, the federal fuel assistance program; and significant pay increases for workers at mental health agencies.

We at COVE are concerned that, if Gov. Scott vetoes the budget because of an unrelated issue, his action could threaten the health and welfare of older Vermonters.  We hope that the Governor can see fit to allow this budget to move forward and work through a different mechanismthat won’t have negative impacts on older Vermonters.

Gini Milkey, Montpelier

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