24 October 2005

What If Referendum C Fails?

It won't be pretty:

If C fails, state government would have to take an across-the-board 10 percent cut, says the Office of State Planning and Budgeting. At that level, the Department of Corrections would be forced to release some inmates early and relax measures to keep all high-risk prisoners under tightest control.

The reports says the Department of Human Services would have to slash $3 million from senior services such as Meals on Wheels. The Department of Public Safety would eliminate the office of domestic violence and sex offender management. The Civil Air Patrol could be grounded. Regulatory Agencies would close the unit that investigates insurance and securities fraud. Rural soil conservation grants would stop. Eleven state parks might close, and 15 would be shut for up to eight months a year.

What else? The Department of Public Health and Environment would close the suicide prevention office and end the air quality program's hazardous and toxic pollution control effort. Budget cuts could go further because of how the health department is funded. . . .

The planning and budgeting office says that small and mid-sized Colorado communities wouldn't be able to comply with new federal clean drinking water rules.There also won't be money for nursing home inspections. A dental program for low-income seniors could be eliminated. The state couldn't afford to participate in the federal Ryan White program that provides drugs to HIV patients. New efforts to increase childhood immunization rates would be shelved. Programs to address high diabetes rates in African- Americans and cancer in Hispanics would be at risk.

The people who vote against Referenda C and D may simply be misinformed by deceptive advertising (Colorado Public Radio noted that its opponents are lying when they says that anyone will lose $3,200 in refunds, the average, over five years, will be less than $500). But, why do the people sponsoring the campaign against these Referenda hate Colorado? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that many of the most important opponents, like Grover Norquist, don't even live here.

No comments: