Contorted Math from the AG’s Office
Whatever the merits of its claims, this argument from the attorney general’s office (concerning why it won’t answer the governor’s call to trim its workforce) is a head-shaker:
The attorney general’s office employs 234 workers, barely enough staff to fill the current need, according to Christopher Cotta, director of administration and finance for the attorney general’s office.
“To say we could do it with less is almost an insult,” Cotta said, noting that his department has not asked for a staffing increase in the last two years. As it is, the attorney general’s staff will perform an estimated 25,000 hours of unpaid overtime this year because of staffing shortages, he said. …
Cotta said that without adequate staffing to meet court deadlines, “There is the potential that something could fall through the cracks or get missed and somehow somebody ends up back on the streets who doesn’t belong on the streets.”
The governor’s office would not respond directly to Lynch’s concerns, but it issued a spreadsheet demonstrating a budgetary increase at the attorney general’s office of about 36 percent since 2003. Lynch’s spokesman Michael Healey countered by noting that overall state spending since 2003 has increased by more than 28 percent.
“It’s kind of like the cheetah calling the dalmatian spotty,” Healey said of the governor’s analysis.
Huh? The budget of the attorney general’s office has increased 29% more than that of the state overall, and it is therefore unfair to ask the AG to join the governor in trimming? Be the injustice of the AG’s staff working an average of two hours more than full time (whatever the specifics) each week as it may, I’m always a bit suspicious when arguments against spending are based on non sequiturs.