Crime Victims Hit Twice as Special Session Ends

Press release from Rep. Linda Flores 2-22-07:

(Salem) “Isn’t the protection of persons and property one of the highest priorities for the state? Isn’t this what we should be doing, protecting the public, locking up bad guys?” asked State Representative Linda Flores (R-Clackamas) during debate on the House Floor tonight over Senate Bill 1087. “I hear over and over from constituents who say, “˜look, if it means my car won’t get ripped off from a meth freak or my home won’t get broken into by a crack head, then I’m fine with having my tax dollars pay to build a few more prison beds.’ ”

Flores voted in favor of the measure, which passed 54-2, because she faces campaign rhetoric accusing her of being “˜soft-on-crime’. “For the record, I am not soft on crime. I do favor some level of mandatory minimum sentences for property criminals.”

SB 1087 will now be referred to the November ballot as a competing measure to Initiative Petition 40, which has tough new mandatory minimums for repeat property offenders. Flores said this move sends a bad message to the 150,000 voters who signed the petition for
IP 40 over the past year. “This is nothing more than an end-run around the initiative process.”¦
if we were really concerned about property crimes we would have enacted one of the legislative measures proposed last year,” explained Flores. “In fact, if SB 1087 is such a great deal, why don’t we just pass it into law right now? Why wait until November?”

Crime Victims United of Oregon (CVU) opposed SB 1087 because they had several of the same objections as Representative Flores. CVU was hit with two defeats today. In the final hours of the 2008 Special Legislative Session, House Bill 3633 failed to move out of the budget committee. The bill would have provided the necessary language to enact two ballot measures coming up for a vote in the May election to enhance rights for crime victims.

“Crime victims’ rights currently in the Oregon Constitution have been characterized by experts as “unenforceable rhetorical promises” These important measures make these rights enforceable and meaningful,” pointed out Flores. “We’ll have to redraft this legislation all over again next year and what’s worse, victims will have to wait at least another nine months before they can exercise their rights.”

Flores made this observation about the two bills, “it seems very hypocritical for this body to subvert the will of the voters by putting a rival crime measure on the ballot in November, but apparently we don’t have the political stones to help victims get the rights they’re entitled to in May.” Flores has been a member of the House Judiciary Committee since 2005.

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Posted by at 09:35 | Posted in Measure 37 | 20 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • eagle eye

    “I’m fine with having my tax dollars pay to build a few more prison beds.”

    Those “few more prison beds” are going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars per year, from what I can tell.

    Rep. Flores, if you’re going to favor this, please do us the courtesy of telling us from where in the budget you are going to take the money.

    • dean

      Fat chance of that. You can have it all…and cut taxes too.

  • dmf

    I have no problem paying for more prison beds. I do have a problem with the fact they are not treated as prisoners. If prison wewe just that, prison most would not want to return. I don’t know about other prisons , bu Pendleton lets them walk the streets. I kno that for a fact because they come into our store and we have to sign off as to what time and day they wewe in. This is supposed to allow them to look for a job. Guess what, they don’t ask. I think the sherrif in Arizona has the right idea. Our laxity causes a good deal of our problems. Poor little things, they are so misunderstood

    • dean

      So…do you support raising taxes to pay for the Mannix plan?

      • Anonymous

        If they were treated as prisoners it wouldn’t cost as much in the end because their wants would be less and they probably would try not to go back

      • dmf

        If they had had their little butts busted when they were kids, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

        • dean

          I,m not so sure. Abused kids are as likely as not to become abusers.

          I never laid a hand on my kid (other than an occasional firm grip) and he turned out fine….so far.

          • dmf

            I’m not talking about abusing kids. I’m talking about making them walk the straight and narrow. Not teaching them and making them is abusive. Not the other way around.

            Sure there will always be some that it won’t make any difference, but in my experience kids who know where the line is drawn are happier and less likely to get into trouble. When they don’t know where that line is they also don’t care. My son who is a corrections officer said he hates working around them in the prison for that reason. They just don’t care.

            Just take some time to talk to and look at families who make the kids toe the line have a lot less trouble.

            It’s those kids who don’t know where the line is that are filling our prisons, as kids and when they become adults.

  • Anon

    Flores argues vehemently against the bill, and then votes FOR it? What an unprincipled idiot!

  • Friends of Meatpuppet

    When you throw out the illegal aliens we are wasting money on and hire a Sheriff Joe for Oregon The money part will not be an issue. We just need someone with the coconuts to provide real law enforcement and not sex changes and color tvs. After that we can put all of the so called legislators in those tent cities for their disregard of the will of the people..

  • Frank Carper

    It will be great when we elect Brent Barton to replace this whiner.

  • CRAWDUDE

    10-15% of state funds are used by people illegally in this country. There was an article on here that stated 491 milliion dollars of the school budget goes to illegals.

    If you want to find the money to fund these prisons, round up the illegals and send them home. In a few years we wouldn’t even need to new prisons because the 20% of the prison space used to house convicted felon illegals would be open. If they are not here, they can’t commit crimes and we don’t have to pay for them.

    The money is easy to find, all we have to do is enforce our immigration laws.

    • dean

      CD…but its not like undocumented workers are not paying taxes for those schools. Since most school funding is through the state income tax, and assuming they are doing regular jobs (not under the table,) they are paying something.

      And how many “felon illegals” are there in our stateprison system?

      But the larger point remains. Mannix’s bill requires money or cutbacks elsewhere to pay for it.

      • CRAWDUDE

        Taking the approx. 1500 ( Oregonian approximation) illegals in the state prison population , times that by the approx. $30,000 each inmate costs and you come up with 45 million per year.

        Removing the future pecentage of inmates by sending all illegals home and securing our borders so they can’r return would free up those 1500 beds. No need to build a new prison since we’ve taken that catagory of inmates away.

        As for the working illegals paying taxes, no the don’t . Nor do their employers pay into our social security system, unemployment , workers comp. etc… They are taken advantage of, not paid the minimum wage mandated by the Oregon voters, they are almost slave labor for businesses who reap huge profits by not hiring legal Americans.

        I’d rather pay more for an item I knew was produced by an American than line a continental sweat shop owners pockets. Case in point, the recent ICE bust at the Del Monte Fresh produce warehouse. 117 of the 400 employees were off the books ilegalls, pure profit for the businesses owners and nothing for the state coffers.

        • CRAWDUDE

          Now the above #’s were justt for the State inmates, much more in custudy in the Federal system.

          • dean

            CD…you say “the money is easy,” and then you propose something that is borderline impossible politically and froma law enforcement standpoint in order to get the money.

            So…do your deportations first, THEN free up the prison space for the petty first time property crimes Mannix is exercised about. Otherwise we could end up with a whole lot of expensive, shiny new empty prisons, like the one in North Portland.

          • CRAWDUDE

            I said the money is easy to find, it takes courage, integrity and perserverance to retrieve it.

            As usual Dean you asked a question, got an answer you don’t like and condemn the plan. As usual you have nothing but condemnation but no useful plan of your own.

            Your question was, ” How do we pay for it? ” and I answered it. The fact that there are natsayers out there such as yourself, without the courage to inact it is sad but not part of the original formula.

            Get rid of the illegals and the cells open up, it costs nothing to the state because the illegals are turned over to the Feds.

            To answer you other question, Yes, every criminal should locked up and made to suffer for the damage they do to others lives. I have no sympathy for them what so ever!

            The shiny new prison you spoke of is Wapato , the levy to build it also provided the money to operate it. The county commission redirected that money to pet projects, foolishly hoping that they could get the tax payers to pay a 2nd time to operate it, that plan back fired. Hardly an example of anything but fumbling by the politicians who commissioned its building.

        • Anonymous

          Employers are not stupid. They are not going to cut their throats nor lose their business for illegal aliens. You better check out your facts with hard facts not assumptions

      • Anonymous

        Um, yes, it it like illegal aliens are not paying taxes.

        Many are paid in cash, and almost all of those that are “on the books” do not earn enough to pay taxes.

  • Confused

    Flores makes a political calculation and votes for the bill, but then she criticizes people just like herself for “not having the political stones to help victims get rights their entitled to in May.”

    Does she get a pass on this?

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