PNS Daily Newscast - June 5, 2020 

It will likely take donations to help the Twin Cities recover from damage by looters; and state and local governments look for relief in next stimulus bill.

2020Talks - June 5, 2020 

Democrats and Republicans have had drastically different responses to President Trump's militarized response to protests in the nation's capital. And, new electoral maps will be drawn next year, some by legislatures and others by outside entities.

Health Centers Hang in Balance of State Budget Bingo

April 22, 2009

Denver - It's a single budget decision that could put the health of thousands of Coloradans on the line. The state Senate will decide whether to give millions of dollars from the tobacco tax to community health centers, which are seeing increasing demand during the current recession.

Pete Leibig, president and CEO of Clinica Family Services, says his organization serves tens of thousands of low-income and uninsured Coloradans. Any loss of funding for services now would come at an awkward time, he warns, in part because of the availability of federal stimulus money to help build new health care infrastructure.

"It doesn't make much sense to expand our facilities while we're reducing our ability to care for people."

One estimate is that each percentage point increase in Colorado's unemployment rate translates to 20,000 adults and children entering the ranks of the uninsured. Shepard Nevel, vice-president of policy and operations with the Colorado Health Foundation, says that's putting a lot of pressure on Colorado's network of community health clinics.

"By definition, these safety net clinics are often the only place that many Coloradans can go to access health care."

More than 300,000 Coloradans are served by community health centers. Lawmakers say tight economic times are leading to tough choices, and some who favor cuts to public health care services say they're too expensive and compete unfairly with private insurance companies.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO