I know that the "no price on human safety" folks don't care about stories like these, but declines in state budgets do have an impact on corrections sentencing policy among those who actually have to pay the "price." So "sluggish" state budgets will likely add to the pushes for alternatives, guidelines, and other oldies but goodies in our reform portfolio. What's really scary is this quote stuck toward the end:
California Controller John Chiang, the state's chief financial officer, says the nation's most populous state could suffer cash flow problems as early as the summer of 2008. California's last cash crisis led to the recall of Gov. Gray Davis in 2003 and the election of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Well, the $7 b. they just spent there (and tons more in the future for maintenance) probably couldn't have been used for anything else more effective in crime/victim reduction anyway.