Archive for Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Statehouse Live: Brownback’s proposed budget cut would hit Bert Nash

January 18, 2011

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— Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center is looking at a cut of approximately $372,000 under Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed budget.

Brownback seeks a statewide cut of $10 million from grants to community mental health centers and $5 million in a program designed to help families where children are experiencing mental health problems.

“The idea that you can cut $15 million out of mental health funding and expect to save $15 million is incorrect,” David Johnson, chief executive officer of Bert Nash, said Tuesday. “People don’t get well and problems don’t get fixed just because you are not paying for them.”

Johnson said cutting the programs will simply mean more people with mental illness will wind up in jail or hospital emergency rooms.

“I don’t think you can say anymore that people are just falling through the cracks. There are just going to be canyons out there,” he said.

Brownback has said his proposed budget cuts are necessary to close a revenue shortfall and avoid a tax increase.

If the Legislature approves Brownback’s recommendation, then Bert Nash will have experienced an estimated $1 million drop in state funding over the past several years.

Comments

William Weissbeck 4 years, 5 months ago

Tucson taught the GOP zero - other than they can ignore reality with impunity. Is mental health care a luxury? If you close the state hospitals and expect the communities to provide the care without funding, you're just asking for more homeless and more in our jails. When does it ever make sense to cut funding for the most vulnerable of our population? A government's first obligation is to protect its citizens and to protect those who can't protect themselves.

skinny 4 years, 5 months ago

ya, but at what cost? Where is the money going to come from?? The mentally ill obviously can’t pay for it!

William Weissbeck 4 years, 5 months ago

That's an easy one. You cut something that most people are willing to pay for on their own, pay through user fees, pay through higher taxes, or do without. By cutting services that are non-essential but effect the most voters, you find out pretty quickly whether the tax payer is willing to pay for it, or do without. If you simply try to please the most tax payers with the most state services that you can afford, then as a elected official you really aren't making the hard choices on how to govern.

Brock Masters 4 years, 5 months ago

Okay, I am listening, what do we cut that fits the description you laid out above?

notanota 4 years, 5 months ago

Well, we can pay for Bert Nash, or we can pay higher rates for jails, courts, hospitals, unemployment, food banks, homeless shelters, and police. Not getting people the help they need has consequences.

deec 4 years, 5 months ago

You could reinstate all the business tax cuts over the last several years that were supposed to stimulate the economy and grow jobs, but didn't.

jafs 4 years, 5 months ago

This is how he follows through on his promise to protect social service funding.

barlowtl 4 years, 5 months ago

good article, I had heard bits & pieces but first time I saw it all in one place. I fear for Kansas. Have for some time when I heard he was running for Gov. Had reassured myself that surely it would never happen. To find him at the helm when the state is in such fragile state is very frightening.

AProudMom 4 years, 5 months ago

I have a family member that left Topeka because of the poor mental health care and went to Lawrence for the care there. If this person does not get the help they need, it is very possible thet they will hurt someone, themselve and/or wind up in jail. What a great society we live in where some can be tossed aside like yesterday's trash.

notanota 4 years, 5 months ago

I have a friend who is no longer with us in spite of seeking help, because Bert Nash didn't have the slot available, and that was before this budget cut. I really dread to see the families who will mourn next year.

David Albertson 4 years, 5 months ago

Maybe Mr. Brownback should cut his own salary to $1 and agree to pay for his own health insurance. Put your money where your mouth is Sam.

handley 4 years, 5 months ago

Our daughter has bipolar if it wasn't for Bert Nash it is hard telling where she would be. I don't even want to think about it.

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