Judge dismisses suit against cuts to family cash assistance program

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BURLINGTON, VT. >> A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit over a plan to make cuts to a family cash assistance program in Vermont.

Budget cuts to the Reach Up program were initially scheduled to take effect in August. The cuts would reduce monthly assistance by $125 for hundreds of households in the state that include an adult with a disability. Lawmakers expected to save more than $1.6 million.

But the state delayed the changes after Vermont Legal Aid attorney Christopher Curtis filed a lawsuit on behalf of impacted families, calling the cut an unconstitutional "poor tax."

The Burlington Free Press reports a judge said Monday he found "no sound legal basis" for the argument that the budget cut discriminates against people with disabilities.

Curtis says he hopes lawmakers will reconsider their decision.


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