To get House Appropriations to kill SB 203 this morning, Governor Rounds's budget director Jason Dilges promises that the general budget will include funding for Birth to 3 Connections. He says federal stimulus funds will keep Birth to 3 going.
Now hold on a minute. Governor Rounds is rejecting federal stimulus money to support unemployment insurance (contrary to the advice of his labor secretary, the unemployment insurance board, and two thirds of our Congressional delegation) because he doesn't want to be stuck having to raise taxes to cover the benefits when the stimulus money runs out. But the Governor is saying it's o.k. to cover Birth to 3 with stimulus money that will run out, meaning we'll be back two years from now having the same debate about where to find the money to maintain the benefits for our little ones.
Now Birth to 3 and unemployment are two very different programs, and applying stimulus money to each may have different requirements. But either way, it's temporary federal money that puts off a state fiscal decision. Anyone care to clarify?
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