Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We went to Madison today. Our legislature hasn't passed a budget yet, it was due this past June. People rallying against no new taxes were there, so state and local employees came out to rally for passing a budget. I will say, I am a state employee and it was my regular day off, because as I was leaving,I hear some random guy saying, " They sure aren't helping themselves, and they wonder why people are against state employees." I don't know if he thought we all took off of work, which no one was supposed to, or thought we were wanting bigger raises, which this was totally not about. I don't think people realize that if they don't pass a budget money runs out. Schools aren't getting their money, local municipalities aren't getting their money. They are going to have to raise property taxes to fund these things. So while the Legislature may not raise taxes the counties and cities will. I work for the Dept of Corrections and if a budget doesn't get passed we will have to find a place for 600 inmates that are being housed through contracts at county jails. We will lose gps tracking on sex offenders. Probation and Parole agents will be laid off along with so called "non-essential" personnel. If they have a job to do now, aren't they essential? I don't think people understand what being "tough on crime" means. We take in more inmates than ever, but have the same amount of bed space. Where do they go? We put them on the floor tripled up, we set up bunks in common areas, and we contract out space. We are dealing with a lot of offenders that just don't care about anything; they are more violent and more difficult to control. We are placing more inmates in lower security levels, because that is where beds open up. We have been living in this denial that everything is ok until something happens. Why does someone have to get hurt or worse to make a change? What gets me is there is this big push to cut non management jobs. Where I work we cut at least 9 non management jobs, while we cut 1 administrative position, yet created 3 more to take it's place. Instead of paying one person $60,000 we now pay 3 of them at least $50,000 a piece. Where does that make sense? There is so many places to cut money, I see waste on a day to day basis, but no one seems to ask the right people where cuts should come from. I used to love politics, it was what I was majoring in before I quit college. But there is so much outside money involved that unless one is a big donor, your voice isn't heard. We no longer live in a democracy, we live in who had the most special interest money wins. Ok I'll stop boring you with my rants.

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