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Fayette Prosecutor on Proposed Budget Reductions

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Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Lou Anna Red Corn says if proposed state budget cuts are enacted, her office’s ability to assist police in fighting crime will be diminished.

Prosecutors, like many state agencies, have been asked to reduce spending by 17.4 percent this fiscal year due to an anticipated $200 million budget shortfall.

Red Corn says prosecutors enhance what police do by identifying offenders who need to be incarcerated and making appropriate cases.

“Without enough prosecutors, we can dilute what the police do because there won’t simply be enough of us to do the things that need to be done in those kinds of cases,” she said.

Red Corn says state law prohibits commonwealth’s attorneys, who are constitutional officers, from undergoing salary reductions during their terms. So, she says a 17 percent cut in spending would amount to more than a 40 percent reduction, primarily affecting the number of staff.

Commonwealth’s attorneys have asked officials in the state budget office to exempt prosecutors from the cut. 

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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