VLA in the Media
Some recent press mentions for Vermont Legal Aid
April 30, 2023 – Wiping criminal records in Vermont through expungement
More information on the expungement process can be found through Vermont Legal Aid.
April 24, 2023 – Repeat offender’s growing rap sheet raises questions about mental health, justice system
Jack McCullough, who works for Vermont Legal Aid ..., is worried people with developmental disabilities will be put there, too, and he says lawmakers should put more resources into community mental health centers to treat mental health before it becomes a criminal justice issue.
April 23, 2023 – Tenants face 26% rent hike in Thetford
Luckily, there’s Vermont Legal Aid, which helps low-income residents with civil legal problems, including tenants facing eviction cases in court. Their services are free.
April 21, 2023 – Lawmakers talking about creating a new facility for individuals who are accused of violent crimes, but aren’t competent to stand trial
“For the last several years we’ve heard the Department of Mental Health and the hospitals clamoring for the creation of more hospital beds," McCullough said. "This proposal takes nine hospital beds offline, and I really don’t get that."
April 20, 2023 – Forensic facility may share building with psychiatric hospital
But Jack McCullough, who directs mental health legal representation at Vermont Legal Aid, said there is no need for a separate facility for people accused of a crime. “This bill is a solution in search of a problem,” he told the judiciary committee last week.
April 11, 2023 – Nearly three-quarters of Vermont’s school districts are under scrutiny for special education. What’s going wrong?
“It is serious,” said Rachel Seelig, Vermont Legal Aid's Disability Law Project director. “I do think that the state needs to be putting a lot of time and effort into getting students the services and support they need.”
April 4, 2023 – Health Clinic Gets $500K to Set Up Primary Care Residency Program
Mike Fisher, who works for Vermont Legal Aid as the state’s chief health care advocate, said on Tuesday that his office often hears from people who can’t find a primary care provider.
April 4, 2023 – Vermont, other states to resume checking Medicaid eligibility; recipients need to make sure info is updated
Mike Fisher, chief health care advocate at the Office of the Health Care Advocate with Vermont Legal Aid, said that about 200,000 Vermonters will need to go through this Medicaid verification process. He likewise said there’s no way to accurately say how many of those folks might no longer qualify for Medicaid.
March 16, 2023 – Lawmakers mull ‘threat assessment teams’ in school safety bill
“Our kids aren’t ‘threats’ to be assessed,” said Rachel Seelig, who directs the Disability Law Project at Vermont Legal Aid. “They are children who need to be supported.
March 16, 2023 – Brattleboro police search for recently released mentally ill man
Jack McCullough, project director at Vermont Legal Aid, told Hayes he has communicated to DMH that “it’s precisely the people who are the most difficult to provide services for who need their help the most.”
March 12, 2023 – Landlord’s Unpaid Water Bill Leads To Tenant Lawsuit
The town turned the water back on after a doctor’s note certifying Hannon’s health issues. But the case is still pending in court and is being handled by Vermont Legal Aid staff.
March 10, 2023 - Care board pushes off vote on inpatient psychiatric care funds
The Daily Reformer:
Eric Schultheis, an attorney with Vermont Legal Aid’s Office of the Health Care Advocate, called the situation an opportunity for the board to consider whether it has ever fully utilized the power that the legislature gave it.
March 6, 2023 – New contract gives UVM Medical Center technical staff higher pay
While pay increases may lead to higher health care costs for patients, having a well-trained workforce at full strength is also essential, said Mike Fisher, chief health care advocate at Vermont Legal Aid. “It’s a double-edged sword,” he said.
March 5 2023 – In a slate of new bills, Vermont lawmakers take a hard look at domestic and sexual violence
At a Wednesday hearing on H.27, Rachel Seelig, a lobbyist for Vermont Legal Aid, said she fears that abusers could weaponize an expanded definition of abuse, gaslighting their victims and lodging their own abuse allegations in court. Legal Aid already sees this occur when legally representing victims, she said.
March 4, 2023 – COVEcast: Ombudsman Project promotes dignity, independence
Community of Vermont Elders (COVE):
Kaili Kuiper and Michelle Carter, who work for the Vermont Long-Term Care Ombudsman Project, were our guests for this episode of COVEcast.
February 17, 2023 – State Increases Oversight of Springfield Schools Due to Special-Ed Violations
Rachel Seelig, director of Vermont Legal Aid’s Disability Law Project, said it is “pretty unusual” for school districts to be placed under targeted monitoring.