Letters To The Editor - Pass 'simple bill with a lot of common sense'

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It was reported Tuesday that state Rep Maureen Walsh as well as 29 others were sponsoring a bill that would allow private companies to sell uniforms to the officers at the Washington State Penitentiary.

Current Washington state law requires the Department of Corrections to buy the uniforms from Correctional Industries.

My question is why? Walsh told KEPRTV.com she "has already heard from a company that provides uniforms for law enforcement and fire departments. Not only can the private sector make these better, they can make them cheaper. This is a simple bill with a lot of common sense."

How can the private sector undersell Correctional Industries, when Correctional Industries is using an inmate work force? (Paid less than $2 per hour.) Why is it that Washington state law requires us to buy the more expensive and cheaply-made product, all this while my fellow officers are being laid off by the dozens, because of a state budget shortfall?

Anyone else see a problem? I think it's time for "a simple bill with a lot of common sense" to pass.

Gov. Gregoire has said several times everyone has to do their part to help make up for the budget shortfall.

My fellow officers without jobs have done their part. Gov. Gregoire, I ask now that you do your part and pass this bill.

Michael Unck
Walla Walla

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