Friday, November 18, 2016

Habenus Budgetum

City council approved most of the mayor's budget yesterday. The most important tweak introduced involved shifting another $600,000 over to the Public Defender's office. That's good news overall even though the revenue is expected to come from doubling the number of traffic cameras stationed around town. It's a very Mitch type of solution and it's something we'll have to try and beat back in the future. But for now, we prefer to revel in the DA's sour grapes.
At the same time, the District Attorney’s Office will see its $6.68 million budget from the city cut by $600,000. That will leave the office with a total budget of about $10 million when state funding is included.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said the cut would have “a dramatic impact on public safety.”

“I question the wisdom of a City Council that would slash the budget of a law enforcement agency that is not only systemically underfunded but is also the only agency not operating under threat of federal intervention,” Cannizarro said, referring to federally mandated reform agreements at the NOPD and the local jail.
Ha ha. As Cannizarro points out, most of our criminal justice apparatus is under mandatory federal supervision due to extended patterns of heinous civil rights abuses. But he "questions the wisdom" of providing even the bare minimum level of resources necessary to support constitutionally sound indigent defense.  That's great.

Whatever we think of the rest of the 2017 budget, we do know it pisses off Leon Cannizarro so let's consider it a step in the right direction. 

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