Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory met with Sen. Basnight today. McCrory brought along his police chief, Meck. County's Sheriff, DA, and a judge to push for his public safety initiative. Sen. Basnight actually requested the meeting. Contrary to a few other reports, I'm told by both parties it was scheduled for last week and scheduled before the shootings took place.
It was a follow up to the Mayor's caravan where hundreds of people rallied outside the GA to get more money for more courts, jails, DA's to help prevent the same people getting arrested over and over.
Getting an hour with Sen. Basnight is a big deal and they took full advantage. Basnight appeared very interested and asked lots of questions.
Most of the discussion centered on how to find the money. Everyone and everything needs money. If you give it to public safety then some other area like mental health, education, or transportation suffers with less money.
The biggest idea floated around was raising court fees (currently $110) and making sure that money goes directly back into the court system. Talk was about raising the fees $25 and it could bring in $25 million more for the courts. This system has the advantage of the ability to actually raise revenue unlike other systems such as education and mental health.
Sen. Dan Clodfelter said the money is there now but appropriations consistently take that money out of the court budget and use it for the general fund.
Clodfelter has a bill ready to go and Basnight seemed keenly interested in getting it through after today's meeting.
Basnight said during the meeting that raising fees makes sense because the people who commit crimes and are put through the system should pay for it.