Who Gets Hurt? - April 2003

Denver Women's Commission
Who Gets Hurt? - April 2003

Prepared by Chaer Robert
For Zenith Magazine
April 4, 2003


With a budget gap of about $900 million for the coming year, state legislators must decide who gets hurt:

-Should Colorado cut prenatal care for pregnant women whose families earns about $20,000 per year or charge gun buyers $10 to help pay for their own background check?

-Should welfare recipients be charged $1. per month to receive benefits or should the state reduce prison costs by letting prisoners earn more "good time" off their sentences?

-Should we freeze the number of working class kids who get state-subsided health insurance or eliminate property tax breaks to homeowners over 65?

-Should the State spend millions to promote tourism or spend half a million to promote art?

-Should we reduce the monthly welfare check for the destitute with disabilities from $269.to $100 per month or require all state employees to take some leave without pay?

-Should we cut mental health treatment for thousands of low-income people with mental illness or cut prison costs by eliminating prison sentences for certain non-violent offences?

As of this writing, in each case, legislators chose the first option. One might argue that these are false options- that the one option has nothing to do with the other- but all these programs are competing for the same limited state dollars.

Setting priorities with declining dollars shows clearly with our priorities are--for better or for worse.

For the final word on how the budget gap was filled, contact your state legislator or the Women's Lobby of Colorado at 303-592-3988 or womenslobby@hotmail.com