Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New OWI Measures Underfunded: Legislature Is To Blame

The ink was barely dry on the newly-signed and very modest OWI reform bill when state officials pointed to a looming implementation shortfall of $70 million.

This was no accident: legislators set up a minimal revenue stream from increased fees on offenders for the 'tougher' enforcement after having run for the hills when it was suggested that the state's minuscule alcohol taxes could be raised a few pennies to produce more necessary funding.


So we have a legislature that first chickened out on significant statutory enforcement reforms, then completed their cowardice on the revenue side by adopting in the bill a plan to collect only $12 million of the estimated $82 million needed.

Pretty pathetic.


Jo Egelhoff, FoxPolitics.net said...

The $70 million projected cost is one reason I called SB 66 the perfect study for perfectly horrid governing

Anonymous said...

So, in their desire to justify their own existence, the legislature passes a "get tough" bill that will pretty much do nothing to reduce drunk driving. Is this a surprise? It's a no-lose issue: Like motherhood and apple pie, everybody is in favor of laws piling additional punishment on these evildoers. Now legislators can go home and tell their constituents that they have done something and, of course, should be returned to office.

What a wise body SHOULD have done is pass the ignition interlock portion of the legislation, along with the portions increasing treatment, supervision and other interventions, but left the punitive (and expensive!) portions out. But there is no satisfaction in that, and you can't tell the votors that you got tough on crime. Uf-da!