Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good advice from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

From Micheal Leachman, here (more here):
Corrections spending is absorbing a growing share of states’ budgets (see map), leaving less for education, health care, and other priorities. Some states have adopted criminal justice reforms that reduce costs while protecting public safety — offering effective addiction treatment to more people convicted of drug-related crimes instead of incarcerating them, for example, or imposing sanctions other than prison time for people who miss meetings with their parole officer.

More states might implement these reforms if lawmakers had a rigorous assessment of the likely impact on the state budget, such as expected cost savings. Unfortunately, many states do a poor job of producing this vital assessment (called a “fiscal note”), as a new report from CBPP and the ACLU explains.

If you look at the chart at the end of the report, you find that New Hampshire enacted 17 "significant adult corrections bills", none with fiscal notes.

Unrelatedly, the CBPP also recommends annual, rather than biennial, budgeting. (New Hampshire is biennial.)

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