Senators voted in favor of changing the way revenue from the alcoholic beverage fund is distributed. Currently, 25 percent of the money goes to municipalities, and 75 percent goes to the state. Senate Bill Two gives 25 percent to counties, 25 percent to towns, and 50 percent to the state. Senator Bob Ewing says counties need more money to care for inmates, many who’ve committed alcohol related crimes.
“That county is responsible for prosecution, as well as sometimes, in a lot of cases, the defense, and the housing and the food for that individual,” Ewing says. “And they may be incarcerated in the county jail for quite some time, depending on what the crime is. They also pay for transportation costs if this individual should be incarcerated in the state pen, as well as any future appeals or transportation back and forth to appear for hearings.”
The measure is expected to send nearly four million dollars to counties. Opponents say that diverts funds from other priorities like education.
Senate Bill Two passed with a vote of 28 to five.