A bill that should be overhauled or vetoed

By: - June 30, 2008 2:36 pm

 For those who find that their attention has wandered, the General Assembly is still considering an absolutely absurd "anti-street gang" bill this summer. The House passed its version last spring and the Senate returned the favor last month – but only after taking what was already a pretty bad bill and making it a lot worse. The matter is now in a conference committee.

According to the latest "fiscal note" prepared by the General Assembly's non-partisan staff of budget analysts, the measure promises to break the state's already shrinking bank – with a price tag of as much as $120 million or so over the next five years! And that's all in the name of proposed policy (i.e. throwing and holding more teens in jail and marking lots of 16 and 17 year-olds as felons) that's been a proven failure already in numerous other places.

Not to mention all those details about unconstitutionally vague definitions.

Here's an idea: If we're really gonna' spend $120 million, why don't lawmakers ditch the effort to out-pander Pat McCrory with a pointless and wasteful "get tough" bill and spend the dough on a genuine effort to address the causes and effects of juvenile crime?

Absent that, the Guv ought to bestow a parting gift on the state and veto this hairbrained proposal if it gets to his desk.

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Rob Schofield
Rob Schofield

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield oversees day-to-day newsroom operations, authors and voices regular commentaries, and hosts the 'News & Views' weekly radio show/podcast.