Gov. Mary Fallin’s chief budget negotiator indicated the dire consequences forecast for Oklahoma prisons if they don’t receive more money may be overstated, or at least hyped.
Preston Doerflinger made pointed comments yesterday when asked about the $1 million increase in the 2013 budget for the Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections and no extra money for 2012.
Corrections Director Justin Jones told a legislative budget panel in January he would have to take extreme measures if lawmakers did not provide more cash for the current fiscal year.
“We can’t go any further or we’re going to have blood on our hands,” Jones told lawmakers. He also said 29 percent of DOC workers qualify for food stamps.
Those comments may be what prompted Doerflinger to single out DOC for its budget request. He said the prison system was not considered for a supplemental appropriation. “We’ve got to have a very frank conversation with the director and understand exactly what the needs are, no smoke and mirrors,” Doerflinger said. “I don’t want to hear doom and gloom… in an attempt to sow fear and doubt.”
Listen to Doerflinger’s comments.