KARK’s Drew Petrimoulx reported tonight that Gov. Asa Hutchinson wants to cut state support of War Memorial Stadium in half, from $850,000 annually. It should be self-supporting, he said.
Sure. Why should a guy who’s never carried Pulaski County give a flip about a Little Rock stadium that the state’s team, the Razorbacks, has all but abandoned?
That might not give you cause for concern. It’s just a football stadium and without skyboxes at that.
But what about the news of still more “efficiency” in state services for those in need — this time disabled children and adults.
Remember the big cuts in Medicaid-paid therapy for mental patients and the likelihood that this will boot them onto the streets, though admittedly save the state a lot money?
Here’s another efficiency being circulated in a proposed rule change: A cap on speech, occupational and physical therapy beyond certain limits without prior authorization. If your child needs more help? Not to worry, DHS says, they are working on a plan to figure out a way to get approval for it. Working on it. DHS says other states require authorization for all access to therapy. We need to be more “efficient” and more “sustainable,” says a notice about the change. In other words, the governor wants to cut spending, just like at War Memorial Stadium and at a host of other places yet to be revealed. No better place to cut than among Medicaid recipients — poor and frail people, in other words.
This belt tightening will NOT be at the Governor’s Mansion, mind you. First Lady Susan Hutchinson didn’t think the place suited her; it needs rehab, a shiny sculpture and more. Not at the Insurance Department, where Director Allen Kerr, the former Republican legislator, plans to build a new Xanadu for himself across the street from the Capitol in between junketing far and wide. The governor has already signed off on the land purchase. And don’t look for cuts at agencies stocked with Republican insiders at pay much higher than what the previous political appointees were paid. If need be, the big pay raises come extralegally, without legislative authorization. See DHS Director Cindy Gillespie, who scored about $120,000 a year more than her predecessor.
And of course the administration is pushing Issue 3, which would unlock the treasury for millions in taxpayer giveaways to private business and allow taxpayer handouts to the suits at the chambers of commerce who are trotted out by Hutchinson to support things like his opposition to medical marijuana. The Hutchinson administration prefers to continue to make criminals of people who find relief from cannabis. And to ship millions to Chinese communists.
Check this sentence in the DHS notice of the rule change to curb access to therapy for disabled people:
We need to make sure we are spending taxpayer dollars on all programs wisely so that it is here for future generations that need it.
What this boilerplate really means is this:
We need to make sure we cut spending enough — except for own our pet projects — so that there’s room to give rich people another income tax cut.
Welcome to Kansas, Toto.