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Shumlin criticized for mental health cuts

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State lawmakers are voicing concern that Governor Peter Shumlin’s budget cuts will hurt the state’s mental health system just as it is trying to recover from the storm-forced closure of the Vermont State Hospital. Up for debate is a reduction of nearly half the 38 so-called step-down beds for patients who need housing and supervision but are not acute enough to require hospitalization. Some lawmakers say the cuts run directly counter to a plan to redesign the state’s mental health system by replacing more than half the 54 beds that were at the Waterbury hospital with beds in less intensive settings.

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