The chair of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission says she’s not happy about the plan to cut money for the state’s gambling treatment program. The Iowa Senate this week voted to cut in half funds allocated for gambling treatment, shifting two million dollars of the current four million dollars a year funding level to programs that help those undergoing treatment for other addictions like alcohol, drugs and tobacco.
Commission chair Kate Cutler says more money needs to be earmarked to gambling treatment. She says the funds came from gambling revenues and is providing a successful program, but needs even more resources, and to cut it not seems to be a bit short-sighted. Cutler says legislators need to find spots in the budget to help fund other addiction programs so they can maintain the current level of funding for the gambling program.
Cutler says there does need to be money to treat other addictions, but she says taking the money from one pot to put it into another seems to her to be a negative effect. She says it’s her hope they could find money from another source to treat other addictions.
Legislative leaders say the shift in gambling treatment money to other addiction programs isn’t a done deal yet as discussions continue about what the appropriate level for spending should be on gambling treatment. The plan is scheduled to be considered by the House next week. Cutler made her comments at this week’s commission meeting.