Meeting Held To Discuss State Budget Impacts On Health & Education

by Free Speech on May 9, 2011

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Last Wednesday evening about thirty people attended a community forum on proposed State budget impacts on health and education. With Bill Haupt as moderator, two knowledgeable speakers presented the issues and then took questions from the audience.

Brynne McBride, Assistant Director of Advocacy and Benefits Counseling for Health, described the present Badger Care and Senior Care programs and the impact of proposed cuts and eligibility changes on families and on overall health costs for the state. Two possible results, ironically, are higher health care costs, since reducing the pool of recipients increases cost per patient, and cuts in primary care result in greater health problems in the future. Chuck Pursell, Interim District Administrator for the Lodi School District, described the impacts of a 22% proposed cut in Lodi’s education budget, which could include the reduction or elimination of agricultural programs
and extracurricular activities such as drama, music, and sports, and much larger class sizes. Increased costs will come from additional testing, which is expensive without necessarily improving education. It was pointed out that reducing the quality of schools is not economically sound, since a major factor in decisions to move to a community is the quality of its schools.

The forum was enlightening and the discussion civil. The evening ended with helpful suggestions for dealing with the issues, including information sources and volunteer opportunities. We urge people to attend the next forum, which will be held on Wednesday, May 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the Lodi Women’s Club Library. Budget items concerning recycling, water quality, and library funding will be on the agenda. Bill Casey, Director of the Columbia County Recycling and Waste Processing Facility, will address recycling. Ron Martin, retired DNR Water Specialist, will share information about water quality. Kristine Millard, Co-Director of the Lodi Women’s Club Library, will talk about library funding. Trish Priewe will serve as moderator.

Mary and Peter Berthold

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