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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