Proposal: Dedicate part of county budget to law enforcement

Proposal: Dedicate part of county budget to law enforcement

EUGENE, Ore. - A citizen group wants to dedicate a percentage of the county budget to keep deputies on the roads and crooks behind bars instead of raising taxes.

The proposal: amend the county charter to dedicate a percentage of the county's annual budget to fund the sheriff's office, jail, prosecutors and juvenile justice system.

"They wouldn't have to look back and forth and try to figure anything else where that money comes from," said Steve Sieczkowski with the Lane County PUblic Safety Political Action Committee.

Lane County faces over $10 million in lost revenue if Congress does not extend the Secure Rural Schools and Communities Act.

The Lane County Commission appointed a working group to look at whether state restrictions on how the county spends state money could be changed.

Sieczkowski's group wants to ask voters to change the charter to dedicate a portion of the county's budget to law enforcement.

"Figure out what that percentage is, and then ask them to lock that percentage in, because we are at the dire straits right now; we are at the bottom line," he said.

The county commission could put the matter before voters. Sieczkowski said his group would gather signatures if the commission doesn't take action, with a goal of putting the question on the May ballot.