Monday, July 20, 2009

Yay, Nevada's #1 Again...

This time, in distress! No really, Nevada is the most distressed state in the nation!

[...] Nevada has the most “distressed economy” in the nation. The measure, done by the Kaiser Family Foundation, combines the number of foreclosures per housing unit (one in 64), the increase in unemployment and the growth in numbers of people on food stamps. In the last measure, Nevada was the second fastest-growing.

David Rousseau, director of, said Nevada has topped the list since January, when it bumped Florida from the No. 1 position.

Service providers, meanwhile, are being stretched between falling tax revenues and budget cuts on one side and the increase in demand on the other. They worry how governments will pay for these services if the numbers needing them continue to grow.

Those seeking services are increasing faster than the recent grim projections made during the legislative session, according to Mike Willden, director of the state Health and Human Services Department.

About 209,000 Nevadans were on Medicaid in May, almost 5,000 more than the Legislature had approved funding for.

“If our assumptions all remain the same, and the caseloads are running higher, we’re obviously in extreme trouble,” Willden said.

This is just sad. And if there were any sense of justice here, social justice, we wouldn't have allowed those deep budget cuts that passed earlier this year and are already starting to cause extra pain to the "newly working poor" who now need that social safety net more than ever before. I know, I know, Gibbons wanted more and this was "the best we could get" with Raggio still pulling strings in the State Senate. But still, it sucks that we couldn't get real, progressive budget reform, and instead all we got was a little less distress than we otherwise would have had under Gibbons' plan.

Well, this still looks like a whole lot of distress to me.

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