Maybe I just don’t understand government and budgets, but I thought the state was broke. Wouldn’t that explain why so many programs already in place have no funding? Wouldn’t that explain why we have crumbling roads and bridges?

Perhaps it explains why many seniors are begging for help with housing costs. Or maybe that would explain why, as of Nov. 1, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services reported that over 1,200 citizens with autism and intellectual disabilities sit on a waiting list for services that will allow them to live up to their potential.

It is noteworthy that the LePage administration and the Legislature did take appropriate action to make services available to those on the list who were classified as Priority 1 last year.

But of the 1,200 who are still waiting, almost 450 are classified as Priority 2 – defined as “determined to be at risk for abuse in the absence of the provision of benefit services.” Does anyone really find that acceptable?

Earlier this month, state Rep. Mark Dion introduced a bill to provide $2 million for pilot drug abuse treatment programs. How can we be considering adding and funding new programs when we can’t afford to fund the programs that are already in place?

I suppose I could make a comparison to the budgetary decisions all of us common folk have to make every month, year after year. You buy what you can afford, period.

So, either we (the state) are broke, or the Legislature is lying to us about how much money is available. I don’t particularly like either possibility.

Dennis Dean