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Two Vital Needs

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As the legislative session winds down and the budget for the coming fiscal year is finalized, KSL encourages adequate funding for two important programs that apparently find themselves in the “iffy” category.

First, dental and vision benefits should be restored in the Medicaid budget. These items took a hit when tax revenues dwindled in recent years and budgets had to be trimmed. Now that there is a sizeable surplus, surely money can be found to restore these important benefits to those among us, mainly the poor, who rely on Medicaid.

Second, would be funding for DORA, that’s the proposed Drug Offender Reform Act. Yes, the price tag for DORA is a bit hefty – some $6.2 million initially and nearly triple that amount over three years. In the long run, though, it would be a wise investment and would actually save the state millions of dollars.

Essentially, DORA would provide more money for effective substance abuse treatment programs while allowing judges to order treatment rather than prison time for certain drug offenders. DORA enjoys widespread support among government officials. And, according to a recent KSL/Deseret Morning News poll, 71 percent of the public support DORA as well.

In KSL’s view, dental and vision benefits for Medicaid participants, along with DORA should not end up on the budget balancing chopping block.

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