North Carolina Senate Republicans have unveiled their $21 billion budget proposal. It includes a massive pay raise for teachers, but they'll have to give up tenure to get it.
The NC progressives don't like it.
The budget also moves the State Bureau of Investigations from the Department of Justice over to the Department of Public Safety.
Republicans say it will de-politicize the agency by moving it from the Attorney General purview to the Governor's. (I doubt that will happen.)
Attorney General Roy Cooper doesn't like it.
AG on #ncga budget: For 75 years an independent SBI has without bias rooted out corruption in the executive and legislative branches.— NC Attorney General (@NCAGO) May 29, 2014
More: With this move #ncga protects itself and the Governor at the expense of govt integrity, and ignores NC law enforcement's opposition.— NC Attorney General (@NCAGO) May 29, 2014
Cooper is the expected Democratic candidate for Governor against Republican incumbent Pat McCrory in 2016.
Perhaps the Attorney General has forgotten this:
The North Carolina justice system shook Wednesday as an audit commissioned by Attorney General Roy Cooper revealed that the State Bureau of Investigation withheld or distorted evidence in more than 200 cases at the expense of potentially innocent men and women.
The full impact of the disclosure will reverberate for years to come as prosecutors and defense attorneys re-examine cases as much as two decades old to figure out whether these errors robbed defendants of justice. Some of the injustices can be addressed as attorneys bring old cases back to court. For others, it's too late: Three of the defendants in botched cases have been executed.
"This report is troubling," said Cooper, who oversees the SBI. "It describes a practice that should have been unacceptable then and is not acceptable now."
The revelation came after a five-month review in which two former FBI agents pulled dusty case files from shelves to find the truths that analysts chose to keep to themselves.
That was in 2010.
Even the leftwing NC Policy Watch recently wondered why nothing has been done since one of the nation's worst crime lab scandals unfolded.
This came to light three years ago, but the question remains: What is our state going to do about it? So far, the answer seems to be very little.
Despite the state’s claim that district attorney’s offices have investigated all 230 cases identified in the audit, not one has been reopened at the state’s request.
As Brant Clifton at the Daily Haymaker wrote a full year ago, it's not really a radical idea to move the SBI under the control of the Governor.
But it does work quite nicely as a political issue.