Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Prison money in Senate budget taken from blind kids - TDCJ budget possibly written in puppy blood

I wondered on Saturday why the Texas Senate's plan to build three new prisons hadn't received more media play. Now the Texas Observer blog has an hypothesis: It's because the money was hidden in an obscure portion of the budget away from the rest of the criminal justice items.

And the kicker, according to Ana Yañez Correa of the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition: “To build these prisons, they’re taking money away from blind children.”

Yes, blind children! Reported the Observer's Patrick Michels:
The Texas School for the Blind asked for $50.3 million of bond revenue to fix up its campus in Austin, but with the party-crashing new prisons needing $233.4 million, and only $282.6 million free, there wasn’t cash enough for the both of them. Close, but one million short. Decisions made inside the budget are all about lawmakers’ priorities, and when it came down to fixing up a school for blind children or building new prisons, guess who lost?
Well, actually we don't have to guess, do we?

The House budget included neither new prisons nor funding for the blind school, so all these decisions will be made in a conference committee.


Anonymous said...

This is Texas! We can't let a few blind kids get in the way of building new prisons. We have priorities in Texas and poor blind kids are not even on the list. Send all the blind kids to prison and the problem is solved. There is a Texas solution to every problem!

Anonymous said...

"TDCJ budget possibly written in puppy blood"

So THAT explains the red ink in the prison budget! And here, misled by your blog, I thought it was enhancements passed by the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee!

Lauren Bingham said...

Best post title I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lt. Governor Dewhurst for handing this issue to your opponents and ruining any political benefit you or any senator might ever have gained from backing more prisons. You strongarmed the Senate to do this, sir - this is YOUR policy.

For now let's call Anon8:27's idea of just sending the blind kids to prison the "Dewhurst Plan"

I can see the TV ads now - Dewhurst in one of his $2,000 suits juxtaposed with a blind kid on the streetcorner, maybe showing an actor from the back taking money out of the kid's tin cup. Deeee-lish!