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Carcieri's furlough flip-flop

Governor Carcieri looks less than politically nimble with his abrupt backtracking on the furlough issue. While hitting state workers with a one (or 1.75) percent pay cut may play well with part of the public, the General Assembly seems unlikely to go along, so it may come to nothing other than an empty symbolic stance.

State workers didn't like the furlough plan, either, but Bruce Sundlun offered a precedent, and it's fair to wonder how much work really gets done on the four days (close to holidays) previously targeted by the governor.

The bigger question is this: since incarcerating people at the ACI is one of the fastest-growing areas of state spending, why did Carcieri not include anything in his budget to address this through, for example, alternative sanctions for non-violent offenders? UPDATE: As Jeff Grybowski notes in his comment, the governor's budget does propose decreasing the dependence on incarceration for non-violent offenders, in part through an $985,250 allocation for community corrections.

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