Across-the-board state spending reductions would result in greater costs as the mentally ill end up in homeless shelters and jails.
Even those with the most limited vision of government’s role in society should agree that it must care for those suffering from mental illness or born with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
As Gov. Bob McDonnell completes work on his budget recommendations, he should protect those vulnerable individuals from harm, a priority justified not only by compassion but also pragmatism. People with schizophrenia or bipolar disorders will not simply disappear if they lose services. They will show up in homeless shelters and jails, at a far greater cost to communities and taxpayers.