Cuts should not be made indiscriminately
We’re in favor of shrinking government when its excesses are provable, but that this must be done with care and foresight became evident in some highly publicized stories recently.
For example, state regulators aren’t inspecting ambulatory medical facilities as often as required by the federal government, and that included the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada that put some 40,000 people at risk of hepatitis C outbreak. It had last been inspected in December 2001.
Part of the reason: staff vacancies held open initially because of the governor’s objection to spending the money to make the hires.
Another example: The results of an audit released earlier this month revealed that many sex-offenders and other high-risk parolees in Nevada were not being monitored to the level required by law.
Part of the reason – staff shortages because of budgetary concerns.
These are just recent examples … it’s likely there are more to be found following budget cutting that seemed to be too focused on the bottom line at the expense of ensuring they do not put the public at risk. Do child welfare workers have the resources they need to monitor children in troubled homes? Are seniors protected adequately from predators willing to run any scam to make a buck?
We don’t doubt there are excesses in government where cuts could be made without putting the public at risk. But it’s clear Nevada needs to do a better job of identifying them.
Regulations are there for a reason, but if there are no regulators to enforce them, they’re meaningless.
• This editorial represents the view of the Nevada Appeal Editorial Board.