The state legislature, dominated by Democrats and Quisling Republicans, has defaulted twice in one session. Outgoing Speaker of the House Jim Amann, announced today that the legislature will default to its previous budget; this means, at a minimum, that there will be no cuts in spending as the recession rolls over us.
The legislature also defaulted on the three strikes and you’re out bill, reverting to its usual practice of using every salient by Republicans to increase spending. The new measure – unlike the rejected proposal that would have required judges to sentence to life in prison felons previously convicted of two violent crimes -- does not compromise judicial discretion in the 270 cases cited by co-chairman of the legislature's judiciary committee Mike Lawlor as falling within the parameters of the “three strikes and you’re out” law.
As previously noted in this space, there is no reason why the “three strikes and you’re out” provision could not have been combined in a single bill with the new Democrat measure, which will cost the state $10 million, a projection that no doubt will increase over the years.
In requiring judges to double the minimum penalty for persistent felony offenders who commit a second violent crime, Lawlor and other Democrats had agreed in principle to compromise judicial discretion.
“Our goal, said Lawlor, “is to ensure that these tragedies don't happen again. After nine months of deliberation, we have finally come up with a version of 'three-strikes' that is tough and will actually work” – except in the 270 cases cited by Lawlor of persistent violent offenders who may be returned to the streets after they have served a mandatory minimum penalty for having committed two violent felonies. On their third violent felony, they will not be struck out.