In the next few days the House will begin debate on HB-1 the budget for the next 2 years and there are many interesting things. One of the main areas of contention outside of education is going to be with respect to the Department of Health where some major cuts are planned. Among the major cuts are to early childhood health care and suicide prevention both of which will be detrimental to the people of Wyoming and we are working diligently to stop.
First, the budget includes a cut of $400,000 to the early childhood health care program, which pays for Home Visit Nurses. These programs have a nurse come to the home of a newborn to help the family with the medical needs that a newborn baby requires. The program has shown by just about every study to be wildly successful at reducing long term health costs, improving the educational abilities of children and even reducing juvenile crime rate, as in long term it saves the government money.
2nd, the House is considering cutting 2.4 million dollars from suicide prevention, while at the same time adding 2.6 million dollars to Title 25 which pays for emergency mental health services. Apparently, it’s better to pay for money after people actually become suicidal than to try and prevent them from getting that way in the first place.
We don't believe that is the case, we believe we should take care of each other here in Wyoming and not wait until problems become very costly, that is why we oppose the cuts to early childhood health care and suicide prevention.