Thursday, April 12, 2012

Florida Governor Rick Scott knows best

Florida Governor Rick Scott recently vetoed a carefully crafted prison treatment bill that had the support of almost every conservative Republican in the state legislature. The law could have reduced the cost of government, something that Scott has pounded away at since taking office, reported the Miami Herald.

The vetoed bill (HB 177) would have permitted a small group of drug-addicted inmates to move from prison to intensive treatment programs after serving half their time. They’d still be in custody, but not behind bars.

The corrections department said a total of 337 inmates could have participated in the first year, out of more than 100,000 prisoners statewide. Florida trails only California and Texas in the number of state prison inmates.  Those three states are the only states with more than 100,000 prisoners.

The bill passed the Senate, 40-0, and the House, 112-4, even in an election year when lawmakers are especially leery of voting for anything that an opponent could distort into a “soft on crime” attack, reported the Herald.  Only non-violent offenders would have been eligible after a full assessment and after being enrolled in adult education courses.

Governor Scott knows best.  He knows how to protect the public...even though 152 out of 156 elected legislators in his state saw it differently.

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