Vice Squad
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Close Your State's Budget Deficit

By banning smoking in prisons, of course. That's the step that California has taken:
The bill's author, Republican Assemblyman Tim Leslie, predicted the legislation would "drastically reduce" prison health care costs.

"The governor has put us on the road to saving taxpayer dollars and prisoners' lives," he said.
Well, if your prisoners are fifty year olds who will be released in 5 years, the smoking ban might save on prisoner health care costs. (Maybe fire insurance costs will fall, too?) If they are lifers, their longer expected lifespan if they do indeed quit will tend to increase the prison costs covered by California taxpayers. And the state will also lose the excise tax collections from cigarette sales. All-in-all, this no-smoking policy for prisons is a hard sell as a taxpayer relief measure.

Thanks to a friend of Vice Squad for the pointer. Hey, isn't California the same state where the Capitol sustained water damage because of the governor's smoking tent?

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