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Rep. Brisson: Confused about the budget he supports?

A story in this morning’s Fayetteville Observer regarding Democratic State Representative (and Republican budget supporter) William Brisson said the following:

“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.

3 Comments


  1. […] Older » […]

  2. Fed Up

    June 13, 2011 at 11:52 am

    I’m so tired of reading all of the media twisting stories to fit their agenda! You guys have been doing this long enough to know how to read a budget. Yet, you have the audacity to say that Rep. Brisson is confused about the budget! It’s obvious that Line 86 you are referencing just reduces (that’s what a number in parentheses indicates) the revenue (that they weren’t receiving anyway) from the continuation budget.
    I suppose you are saying that the following excerpt straight out of HB200 means nothing?

    DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION RULES FOR INMATE LABOR
    SECTION 18.12. G.S. 148-26 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
    “(g) The Department of Correction shall establish rules, standards, and procedures for establishing inmate labor services contracts with any county or municipality expressing interest in contracting for inmate labor.”

    Way to go guys! Mis-lead the public in any way you can!!!

  3. Rob Schofield

    June 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    You can establish rules, but if the money is eliminated, the money is eliminated. I’m happy to stand corrected if the item zeroed out in the budget does not affect Brisson’s beloved work crew (thst was actually implicit in the original post), but there seems to be no denying that funding is cut/reduced for a kind of item that he is touting.

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