One of the biggest inequities in South Carolina is in how the state deals with its budget priorities in bad times. Public education funding is largely spared from budget cuts while other agencies take the brunt of cuts.
Apparently other parts of state government like law enforcement, prisons, courts, environmental protection, agricultural inspection, and others aren't thought to be essential to the well-being of the people of this state.
Nettie Britts is one of the fine Blogland readers who knows better and she's speaking out on her blog, challenging state leaders, Democrats and Republicans alike, to put public safety first by making real budget cuts instead of releasing prisoners early:
As for crime- recidivism is a fact accepted by the U.S. Department of Justice- one study found 68% of those released from prison reoffended within 3 years. The United Kingdom is ending its early release pilot because of recidivism- thousands of violent crimes committed by repeat offenders.
What is the cost of these crimes? Prosecutors. Bail hearings. Police overtime. Defense attorneys. Parole officers. Victims’ medical bills, paid by the state. Permanent physical and psychological damage. (Huge disclaimer: personal experience in this area).
I call on Education Superintendent Jim Rex- decline the 1.4M budgeted next fiscal year for your “classified positions” and give the money back to the general fund. Maybe you can avoid those education employee furloughs, that you have not taken at your $92K salary.
I call on Senator Leatherman- remember the platform you run under, have been elected under every four years since 1980. No more earmarks. Protecting teachers. Lock up violent offenders. Remember? Use the power you have earned, shape our budget, and stand up for South Carolina values!
Such thoughts are bold, brave, and are receiving loud praise in the Blogland. We encourage you to read the rest of Nettie's post.