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Cutting Our Future: How Budget Cuts Affect Nebraska’s kids

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”

Cuts to critical programs can lead to a dimmer future for Nebraska’s kids.

We all know that preventing something bad from happening is better than fixing a problem after it starts.  Time and time again, best practices and research show that intervening early in the lives of vulnerable children can prevent problems from getting bigger and costing more to fix later on.  We are better off as people, as communities, as a state and as a nation if we take steps today that affect the well-being of kids into the future.

That’s why Voices for Children is concerned about some of the cuts in the budget request from the Department of Health and Human Services that will serve as the basis for legislative debate in the coming session.  In the coming weeks, we will talk more specifically about these potential cuts and the impact they could have for a generation of Nebraska’s kids.

In some instances, these cuts would reverse recent policy victories for kids –like prenatal care for all low-income mothers.  Other suggestions–like closing units at the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Centers at Kearney and Geneva – could pave the way for re-investments in community-based services that better meet the needs of future youth.

No matter the cuts that are made in our final budget, we have to keep in mind that the decisions our lawmakers make today will have consequences for our future.  Our careful planning and future thinking as a state have allowed us to pay for things like schools and universities, health care and public safety and weather the recession in better shape than most states. We owe it to children and youth to create a state budget that lays out a plan for their future and gives them the same opportunities for success that generations before them have experienced.

 

The budget is a complicated document and we’re sure to miss issues that are important to some of our readers.  If you’re concerned about a particular cut in the budget, let us know in the comments below.  We may not cover everything on our blog, but we still want to know what challenges you see in the upcoming budget.

Thank you to taking the time to share!

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