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Report Recommends Downsizing Vets Home

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The state is seeking strategies to reduce the Veterans Home's dependence on General Fund subsidies.

The report was prepared by the State Agency of Administration. Its goal is to develop a plan for eliminating the home’s need for state subsidies by 2018. The study attributes recent shortfalls in part to a low census. The facility is budgeted for 171 beds but typically has fewer than 130 residents.

But Steve Howard of the Vermont State Employees Association, which represents workers at the home, says downsizing isn’t the answer.

We believe that there‘s a lot more that could be done that hasn’t been pursued that should come before you start taking services away from veterans," Howard says.

Howard says better marketing could help attract more veterans. The report recommends new revenue sources, including a vet-centered lottery game. But it says the home may always need some state support.