At the State and Federal level, budget cuts are slicing deep into programs that at one time seemed to be absolutely essential. Now with the reality that there is no money to fund these programs it is every-man-for-himself, as it were.
At the top of the list for cuts are drug enforcement and prevention programs. The DARE Program has been completely cut in many municipalities across the country. The War on Drugs costs a staggering $66,500 per minute. As of January 30, 2011 $3.5 billion had been spent in just 30 days. http://www.drugsense.org/cms/wodclock
In Kansas schools would receive $107 million less next year because of $200 million in lost federal stimulus funding. The Olathe School District stands to lose $2.5 million this year and $5.2 million more next year in state funding under Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposed state budget and community mental health centers would lose $15 million in state funds. Johnson County Mental Health Center stands to lose more than $1 million.
However, there is one extremely pricey piece of legislation that is not going to be cut, the AWA or Adam Walsh Child Protection Act. “Attorney General Derek Schmidt proposes overhauling the state’s offender registry to bring it into compliance with the sex offender registration and notification provisions of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. “In tight budget times, these are steps we can take to make Kansas safer and to reduce the burden on child victims,”
Texas is another state that has found itself with a huge shortfall in funds.
Just a few of Texas’ budget cuts: “The proposal would cut a total of $16.1 billion in health and human services spending. That’s a 24.6 percent cut. $9.8 billion short fall for schools. The proposed budget doesn’t include funding for increased numbers of students, for projected declines in property values and related local school taxes, or $3.3 billion in the current budget from federal stimulus money. Public education spending would drop a total of $7 billion from current levels. Higher education would be cut $1.7 billion, or 7.6 percent, from current levels. $3.3 billion from the business and economic development section of the budget.”
The Texas Legislative Budget Board, an independent review agency for the state’s legislature, included its legislative biennium-based report this fiscal impact information, suggesting that SORNA would be very costly to implement in Texas
The true cost of the AWA is unknown, but the estimate from the federal government is $150,000,000 and, as previously noted, this price tag does not include the average 8% increase of registered offenders each year.
The ineffectiveness of the registry though is well known. Studies from many states and agencies prove that the registry and the AWA are simply a waste of money; money that would be better spent on education for our kids, on hospitals and fire departments.