It’s everybody’s favorite time of year – when criminal justice leaders hope that the Mayor and City Council will leave a blank check in each of their stockings. Now that the city budget has stabilized after years of deficits, virtually every single criminal justice agency is begging for more money than the Mayor is proposing. Here’s the list (the dollar amount is not their total budget – it’s how much more they want over and above what the Mayor is proposing):
Criminal Court Clerk Morrell wants $500,000 more for next year, claims he is owed $2.7 million in back funding, but is refusing to play by the City’s budgeting rules
And the Orleans Public Defenders Office is perpetually underfunded
Something’s got to give here. The Mayor’s proposed budget is already giving most of these agencies more money than last year, and the city’s projected surplus is too small for every agency to get everything it wants. Plus, unpursued efficiencies and savings remain to be had in many of these offices.