“When asked about the perception that he agreed to vote for the budget in exchange for keeping open a prison in Bladen County, Brisson said, ‘I don’t know who made that statement.’
Brisson said there’s not a definite answer on whether the prison will stay open, but he did say the 60 jobs are important in Bladen County, which has a population of about 35,000.
Brisson said the N.C. Department of Transportation office in Bladen County uses about 20 workers from the prison a day. Four small towns in the county use about 40 each day, he said.
‘They could not afford to replace them,'” he said. (Emphasis supplied).
Got that? Brisson basically says that one of the reasons he’s taking the extraordinary step of going against his own party and governor is that his local government needs the local prison work crew.
Now look at item #86 under the Justice and Public Safety “money report” on the proposed budget of which Brisson is so enamored. Here’s what it says:
“86 Eliminate Community Work Crews
Eliminates Community Work Crews, which were partially restored in 2010 after a complete elimination in 2009. The Department was authorized to charge local government entities a $150 per day fee to offset part of the cost of the eight person crew plus one Correctional Officer. No local entity has ever paid the Work Crew fee.”
Unless there’s some other fund that’s paying for Brisson’s beloved work crew, it sounds like he may have been sold a bill of goods by his Republican friends. And regardless of whether his local crew is on the chopping block or not, it appears to be a remarkable bit of hypocrisy to extol the virtues of a program and then vote to deny it to lots of other folks who could use it.