Pet Projects, ER Visits Targetted by State Committee
A state government streamlining committee approved plans eliminating lawmaker pet projects and limiting emergency room visits for many people.
The state currently spends about $20 to $50 million dollars on pet projects, also known as non-governmental organizations. Projects are sponsored by lawmakers and approved through the normal budget process in the legislature. They include everything from road projects to civic organizations.
The same committee approved another plan limiting emergency room visits for Medicaid patients and those without insurance that aren't suffering from life-threatening injuries or illnesses. The goal is to keep people from using the ER for day to day doctor's care.
State health leaders say the visits waste tens of millions of dollars each year. Under the plan, the state would cover two non-emergency visits and all emergency situations.
Both plans will have to be approved by the full streamlining commission and the legislature.