Funding For New San Mateo Jail Blocked

Categories: Law & Order

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Enemies of the police state are celebrating today, as San Mateo -- which is in the middle of building a new jail in Redwood City, a project for which the county is currently $80 million short -- tried and failed to get state funding.

The 500-bed jail was originally set to cost $165 million, and San Mateo began construction without all the cash on hand, as the Examiner reported this week.

It will now almost certainly cost more, as the county is running out of ways to pay for the new jail.

It's not clear why San Mateo started to build without all the cash on hand, especially when state jail officials had yet to check off on the project.

There was hope that San Mateo could take $80 million originally set aside for San Joaquin County, but a legislative maneuver by state Sen. Jerry Hill -- who amended a pharmaceutical bill to prioritize the county for jail funding -- was shot down in committee in Sacramento on Thursday.

Anti-prison advocates hailed the failure as a great success. In a statement, San Mateo resident and member of Californians United For a Responsible Budget -- which frequently advocates against jail-building -- Dorsey Nunn said that there is little support for the jail in the county, aside from sheriffs and construction trades unions.

However, the jail is still being built and appears it will still be built -- just at a greater cost to people like Nunn. The county will now examine issuing revenue bonds like the ones that funded construction of a crime lab -- which the county are still paying off a decade later.





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