Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

State News

October 19, 2012

Candidates square off again

(Continued)

-- —

"When I see an administration that does not look at cutting from the administration but looks at cutting benefits, we have to look at where our dollars are," Boneham said. "… I really have to say, I want to be able to show how we will expose some of our problems, where we will show where the dollars are and decide as a community where cuts should be made."

Pence and Gregg both answered with the emphasis on keeping promises made to Indiana public employees. Pence said he also agreed with Gregg on the point that fiscal growth is the key to fighting the pension shortage problem.

Indiana jails and criminal prosecution practices also saw debate time Wednesday, as it had in the first debate last week in Zionsville. Boneham argued for alternative plans to incarceration for Indiana law-breakers.

"We have stalled in our legislature in figuring out what we are going to do, how we are going to solve this problem (of jail overcrowding and increased numbers of incarcerations) without going bankrupt," Boneham said. "We cannot keep putting everyone in jail.

"Are we going to continue to lock up every person who breaks the law, no matter how petty the law is?" he asked in the rebuttal. He answered that he hoped not, and he didn’t want a state that "built an economy on incarceration."

Boneham said he does believe law-breakers should be punished, but also cited alternative programs, like the ones he has created in Indianapolis, as examples of alternatives.

Gregg and Pence both commended Boneham on his efforts, and echoed the need for alternative programs. While Pence said he also sees the need for transitional programs for incarcerated criminals to productive lives as citizens, Gregg focused on the need to train more law enforcement officials.

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