It is the single largest item in the bonding bill. It is controversial by nature, considered suspect by many legal scholars and criminal behaviorists, and it will likely secure the infrastructure of a permanent and exponentially more expensive government function into perpetuity. Yet it will likely be approved without rigorous debate because politicians never want to see campaign ads saying they are soft on perverts.
Pawlenty wants an $89 million expansion of the facility for sex offenders at Moose Lake, which holds predators we think will re-offend. Public officials might air doubts about civil commitments privately, but they also know it is impossible to offer a nuanced response to a "soft-on-sex-offender" tag.
The Moose Lake facility was briefly a bargaining chip in the bonding bill. But it's more significant for the reasons Tevlin notes. It institutionalizes a long-term expense — call it a reverse entitlement if you like — by building a dedicated facility to hold sex offenders after their sentences are completed. And it perpetuates the constitutionally dubious practice of punishing people for crimes they might commit in the future.
No matter whether this works or is even right, building the detention facility means the policy is likely to continue. And people got more exercised over the cost of a few flat screen TVs at the current Moose Lake facility.
And conceal and carry advocates should love this one. A driver with a carry permit uses his loaded handgun to stop another driver from honking and flashing lights at him.
I wonder how he'd answer the survey question about using his weapon to foil a crime?
However, he's the one who got arrested.