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Welcome to Nevada: Next services are across border
by Jeff Blanck
Aug 18, 2008 | 529 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I am waiting to see a sign at the Nevada border that welcomes people to our state with the disclaimer: “No medical or educational services.” This is what our governor, Jim Gibbons, and our Legislature are doing to our state.

Our “wise” leaders are balancing our budget deficit on the backs of our sick and our youth. They are cutting health and human services as well as education. Nevada was only 48th nationally in K-12 funding to begin with and now I am sure we will be 50th. And if you need state supported medical services, you better go to California.

Our beloved leaders are planning on cutting more than $1 million from our early intervention services. These are services the state provides (with supporting federal funds) to help newborns to 3-year-olds with developmental problems. Studies have proven that the sooner you help children with developmental issues, the better they respond. If you don’t, it will just cost the state significantly more when they are older. So much for “an ounce of prevention for a pound of cure.”

These cuts in health benefits to these children will result in more child abuse and neglect and even death. Aren’t we a compassionate group? But maybe that is the governor’s plan. He wants to cull out the sickly and the injured and then we won’t have to deal with them.

This happened in a small town in California. The townspeople ran all the blacks out of town at gunpoint. When the sheriff was asked what he was going to do about the race problem, he responded, “We don’t have a problem anymore.” So if you ask our governor how we are going to deal with our ill and developmentally disabled, he might just say that in a year or two we won’t have that problem anymore.

Cutting educational funding is also a dumb idea. The general public should rise up in revolt. According to our state constitution, we are to be provided with a free public education. Well, that isn’t going to happen.

Despite what the Washoe County School District says, they can’t get by with any cuts and still provide a decent education for our children. The district’s Board of Trustees and the superintendent should have the backbone to stand up and say so but they just coddle to the Legislature in fear of getting on their bad side. So what if they did? What are they going to do that they aren’t already doing?

The same people who are acquiescing to educational cuts are the same people who were patting each other on the back with the passage of No Child Left Behind. Now they are going to leave them all behind.

There are other things that can be done to solve the budget crisis besides shutting down the state. But our leaders aren’t doing anything to find any new revenue. They are taking the easy way out by using across the board cuts for all agencies. If they had any backbone at all, they would eliminate certain programs and keep others. But they would take a political hit for that and that is something they avoid at all costs. Furthermore, their failure to look for other revenue at this point is ludicrous and a gross dereliction of their duties.

So welcome to Nevada. If you need health care or an education, go somewhere else.

Jeff Blanck is an attorney in private practice in Reno. He can be reached at
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