A Case for Term Limits
The N.C. Department of Corrections is paying an exorbitant amount for prison inmate hospital care.
An N.C. General Assembly budget bill passed in August 2009 mandated prison inmates be billed by hospitals at the same rate as state workers and teachers. A legislative housekeeping bill removed the money-saving mandate.
According to a Feb. 12 News & Observer article, we can thank Sen. Tony Rand for this change. The article notes that one WakeMed inmate invoice for $482,000 included $133,000 for the cost of treatment and a markup of $350,000.
The “good old boy network” is alive and well in our state government. How else could Rand, the former Senate majority leader, vote to cost our state millions and then be appointed by Gov. Perdue to head the three-member Parole Commission at an annual salary of $100,035? Rand would be there to help any fellow legislators who need a parole, except the state’s structural sentencing law in 1994 eliminated parole.
Rand, who resigned from the state Senate on Dec. 31, 2009, has close ties to the Easleys. Also, there are rumors of no-bid state contracts for security equipment purchased by state agencies from Law Enforcement Associates (LEA), including a $7,000 baseball hat with a concealed microphone. Rand has been chairman of the board at LEA since 2003.
It is time for term limits. Rand was appointed to the Senate in 1982 and served 22 years. The longer in office, the easier it is to be influenced by special interests on a personal level and to forget the constituents whose interests should be represented. If our state and federal representatives are not willing to limit their terms in office, it is the voters’ responsibility to do so. Remember that when it’s time to vote in May and November.
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