I believe our legislators’ miserly approach to funding public services is undermining our state’s social and economic well being. Their ignored or deferred support of these necessary services damages lives and property as well as adversely affects our economy. They should heed Ben Franklin: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
A couple of the many examples:
Forest fire fighting and prevention: Following last year’s record breaking forest fires, Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark requested increased funding for the next biennium. The Legislature cut his funding request by more than half. Result: Ashes on the east side, loss of life, homes, jobs, and tourism.
Failure to fund basic education in the state as per voters and Supreme Court. Result: poor academic and job training which is counterproductive for the state’s workforce needs and economy.
Transportation funding shortchanged: The backlog of repairs on roads and bridges grows steadily and is more costly by the day. Result: Bad for moving freight, dangerous, bad for economy.
These and other vital services need state support. They will not fix themselves. The longer we wait, the more taxpayer’s money is wasted. There is little or no “fat” left to cut. Alternatively, we could raise needed revenue by invoking the dreaded “T” word that would allow us to spend an ounce now, and save a pound later.