help me understand

I am not an accountant. Reading the TN budget for 2009-2010 is about as pleasant as watching for the return of a swallowed Playmobile toy. I understand clearly that we are cutting or eliminating:
family resource centers, school safety grants, school health positions and funding, the child health and development (CHAD) program, the healthy start program, programs focusing on delinquency and truancy prevention, the relative caregiver program, alcohol and drug counseling for students, respite services, mental health and suicide risk screening program for youth and the peer power program.

The state of TN is going to: Eliminate homeless, consumer family support, employment, recovery and housing evidence-based services for persons diagnosed with serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI). Reduce mental health crisis diversion and continuum of care services. Reduce mental health services to children and other special populations. Get loans for your health bill with and read this official statement for more information.

What I don’t understand is that it looks like many of the affected services and programs will get funding from the one time only, federal stimulus money. That must be a misunderstanding on my part. How is spending the money on what we have now going to stimulate the economy in our state? If all the programs vanish at the end of the surplus money, aren’t we guaranteeing failure of the stimulus plan? Surely the state of TN isn’t going to set up children and families to suffer just to prove a political point.

3 thoughts on “help me understand

  1. Before the stimulus funding was approved by Congress and signed into law, the overall budget as a whole to be trimmed by up to 15 percent.

    Based on revenue projections by state economists, the state will have about 12% less money over the next several years. The federal stimulus money is being used to allow Tennessee time to make the cuts to 12% over two years instead of four. This is mostly being done by natural attrition in several areas and gradual cuts.

    Go to the governor’s web site and look for the text of his budget presentation speech. It will explain a bit more about the nature of the stimulus package and how Tenneseee can use it.

  2. What I meant to say was the federal money allows the state to trim down government over two years instead of having to do make drastic cuts at the end of this budget cycle….sorry to confuse.

  3. WITH the stimulus money, children’s services are taking more than a 14% cut this year and mental retardation services are reducing by more than 50%. That is not a gradual two year reduction. This is also the exact opposite of stimulating. At the end of this fiscal year, things will be worse. After a year without those services, things are going to be downright abysmal. The majority of TN’s cuts are to the most fragile members of our communities.

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