Idaho’s state prison system won’t take the same cuts other state agencies are facing next year - instead, under a budget approved by lawmakers this morning, it’d see a 5.3 percent increase in state funding and 4.1 percent in overall funds. “You really don’t have a lot of choices here,” said Rep. Darrell Bolz, R-Caldwell. “Public safety is a function of government, and when you’ve got so many inmates … nobody wants ‘em out on the streets.” The budget still falls $2.6 million short of estimates of what the prison system will cost the state next year. Bolz, House Appropriations vice-chairman, who proposed the budgets, said they’re very close to spending levels recommended by Gov. Butch Otter/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.
Question: Anyone care to explain why Idaho legislators consider it more important to properly fund state prisons rather than public education?