In an emergency cabinet meeting today, Governor Jan Brewer laid out her latest plan to help bridge the state's multi-billion-dollar budget gap: Releasing non-violent illegal immigrants held in the state's prisons.
Following the meeting, Brewer ordered the state's prison director to begin releasing prisoners -- a move that the governor believes will save the state millions.
Don't worry -- Jan's not talking about turning the Jefferey Dahmers of the world loose on the streets of Phoenix. Those to be released are inmates that have been convicted of non-violent crimes like DUI or low-level drug offenses.
The plan isn't exactly a get-out-of-jail-free card, either. Those released would be turned over to ICE officials and eventually sent back to their native countries.
"It's always a tough decision to talk about releasing anybody," Senator Russell Pearce tells the Associated Press, "But, you notice she stated non-violent, those eligible under current law for release."
A ringing endorsement from Russell Pearce probably won't be much help in getting Brewer the much-needed Latino vote, but kudos to the governor for coming up with the only idea to reduce spending that hasn't sent the Republican Party into a bicker-rama.
Unfortunately this is the best announced idea our elected officials have come up with.
Brewer's one-cent sales tax increase seems to be dead in the water, and let's not forget the "I didn't pay enough" fund, where lawmakers want to start asking taxpayers for "donations" to help solve the budget mess.
On second thought -- for the sanity of the frustrated Arizona taxpayer, we should forget that one.
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