Vermont lawmakers are considering proposals by Gov. Peter Shumlin's administration to put time limits on participation in the state's Reach Up welfare-to-work program.
This past week, Department for Children and Families Commissioner Dave Yacovone brought to Senate budget writers a revised version of the time limits that would kick off households that fall out of compliance with the job-seeking requirements of the program after four months.
Yacovone and other administration officials say the number of people still on the program after five years of receiving benefits has more than doubled in the past five years, and it's time to get tough with many of them.
Some lawmakers and groups like Vermont Legal Aid say many of the families are in complicated situations that require continuing state assistance.