Commentary: GOP priorities are wrong when it comes to meth labs

This country can afford to keep giving tax breaks to multimillionaires, the oil industry and a variety of other corporate interests. But it cannot afford to safely dispose of meth labs?

The skewed priorities of Republicans in Congress are coming home to roost in Kentucky and other states that have run out of money to respond when methamphetamine operations are discovered.

And no more money will be coming to help local police deal with meth-making, if Republicans in Washington have their way.

First responders to meth busts require special training and equipment because the chemicals used to make the illegal drug are explosive, volatile and potentially poisonous. Also, the refuse can't just be tossed in the trash.

Since the Clinton years, COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) has helped reduce crime in poor neighborhoods and also provided funding to local law enforcement for responding to meth labs.

In the federal budget approved by the Republican House, the COPS program takes a hit, and money for combating meth is zeroed out.

Meanwhile, the increase in meth-making has drained the funds that Kentucky and other states had on hand. The end of federal funding would shoot a $725,000 hole in Kentucky's meth response capacity.

To read the complete editorial, visit www.kentucky.com.