The county Board of Supervisors conceptually approved a five-year budget of $765.5 million for capital projects including transportation infrastructure, water management, and building repair and maintenance. A new county jail – at an estimated price of $153 million – was figured in, though the project remains unfunded. County staff initially identified a half-cent sales increase as the most viable option for funding a new jail, but a phone survey indicated that only 58 percent of registered voters felt a sales tax was “a fair way to pay for a new jail,” which is just short of the two-thirds majority that would be required for the tax to pass. Methods of funding a new jail continue to fuel acrimonious debate among county supervisor candidates. Meanwhile, people accused of theft, assault and battery, using methamphetamine, and possessing child pornography are not booked into jail in Santa Barbara due to lack of space.

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