Lois Wymore: If C and D fail, we’ll feel the effects locally
To the editor:
According to most predictions, it seems referendums C and D might very well fail. If that happens, residents of Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt counties can look forward to some devastating cuts in public services including the likely closure of Colorado Northwestern Community College.
Their failure would mean the state budget must be cut by $365 million.
Where will those cuts come from?
The answer is simple. The only places that can be cut are higher education, health care, social services, corrections and roads. It also would mean the end of many programs and opportunities that most of us take for granted.
If higher education is cut by 10 percent, it translates to $2.1 million for community colleges and occupational education. Trust me, the fat has been cut, and there is only muscle left. My fear is that to accomplish the mandated balanced budget, they must close the doors of some community colleges and occupational facilities. The logical choice is schools that serve smaller populations.
The economic effect of the closure of CNCC to this part of the state would be huge. However, losing our access to higher education would be a travesty. Is it worth losing what we have now for the promise of $71 a year?
The cuts to education, as well as health care and social services are a direct result of the TABOR amendment not allowing for economic slumps. In theory, the law sounded like a good idea, but in reality, it has probably hurt us more than helped us. Five years ago, Colorado was in the top 10 for higher education. Now we’re in the bottom 10 for students and faculty choice.
Other cuts include the elimination of Colorado Indigent Care program, Medicare coinsurance and deductibles and the Colorado Arts Council and the elderly property tax will be cut again. Even the Department of Correction is looking at cutting its budget by 10 percent to 20 percent.
With state cuts like these, we can expect cuts at the county because of the trickle-down effect. Those cuts might include many Visiting Nurse Association services, the care clinic, senior lunch programs and social service programs.
We all whine and gripe about government spending and waste and pass laws that make it impossible for elected officials to do their jobs.
If having access to higher education, health care for the elderly and indigent and roads are on your priority list, please vote “yes” on C and D.
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