Sheriffs concerned about proposed cuts to public safetyby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — House Republicans are recommending a measure that would require counties to house state prisoners with less than two months remaining on their sentence in the local jail or workhouse.
Jim Franklin with the Minnesota Sheriffs Association says county property taxpayers would be forced to pay for housing of those prisoners.
"In this particular case, there would be no reimbursement. This would be a direct cost to the county totally at the county expense," said Franklin.
Rep. Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, says it would also require county jails and workhouses to house short-term offenders instead of sending them to the state's prisons.
"Counties and cities have to realize that they have to be part of the solution, and to cry 'unfunded mandate' every time something happens, they have to share the pain also," said Cornish. "It's a hard line to take, but that's the position we're put in today with this budget."
The House GOP public safety budget bill cuts $15 million from the Department of Corrections, as well as battered women's programs and police training.
Franklin says he's also concerned that the bill would take money from a fund geared towards building a public safety radio network.