This letter is in resolute opposition to Senate Amendment #2 to HB163 by the Montgomery County Board Finance Committee.
The committee has reviewed the impact this abhorrent legislation would have on our county. Beyond the obvious–that this legislation will make it impossible for the office of sheriff to fulfill the constitutional duties of the office–it is full of unfunded mandates that a rural county of less than 30,000 people will never be able to afford.
Not only does this legislation put taxpayers and communities in danger by limiting the abilities of our public safety offices, it will put incredible costs on the taxpayers.
Amendment #2 to HB 163 is unduly burdensome on our court system, requiring increased staff at all levels of the judicial system resulting in expenses our county cannot withstand. It will increase our liability insurance cost substantially. It will discourage applicants within our public safety departments due to the increased personal risks those employees will bear. As a rural county, we already struggle to fill our public safety rosters. It will increase the cost to maintain a jail as more mandates will fall on local governments.
We ask that you too oppose Senate Amendment #2 to HB163. Please work toward true, helpful criminal justice reform that does not gut our public safety and empty the coffers, but seeks to actually improve the criminal justice system and provide safety to our communities.
Megan I. Beeler, Chair
Montgomery County Board