Vermont’s most recent unemployment figures show that 6.5% of the population is unemployed. Many of those people rely on benefits they receive from the state to stay afloat while they look for work.
But the fund that pays those benefits has been insolvent since January. The state has been forced to borrow tens of millions of dollars from the federal government to keep the benefits flowing. That’s a situation that cannot last. On Monday, Governor Douglas and the legislative leadership announced a compromise agreement that would ensure solvency of the fund by 2015. It includes changes to benefits and eligibility, and increased contributions from employers.
Patricia Moulton-Powden, Vermont’s Labor Commissioner and Chris Curtis, an attorney with Vermont Legal Aid talk with VPR’s Jane Lindholm about some of the criticisms of the plan.