Last-minute amendment could send $1.5M to MCSO - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Last-minute amendment could send $1.5M to MCSO

MCSO Sheriff Joe Arpaio MCSO Sheriff Joe Arpaio
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A last minute amendment to Senate Bill 1490 could send an extra $1.5 million into the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) budget.

According to the introduced amendment, the money would be moved from the Department of Public Safety's Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission (GIITEM) sub account to MCSO for safety equipment.

The 6-3 party-line vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee took place shortly before five Wednesday evening. Democrat Sen. Steve Gallardo says he's completely against the way this money could be allocated.

"We're now taking $1.5 million away from DPS that's intended to go after criminal gangs and [we're] now giving it to Sheriff Joe Arpaio with no oversight. The fact that we're going to give away $1.5 million without any oversight is just outrageous," he said.

CBS 5 reached out to Republican Sen. Dan Shooter, the bill's sponsor but was unable to get a response.

However, Sheriff Joe Arpaio said he was unaware of the specifics of the bill, but supports any additional money that helps fund his department.

"Because of these budget restraints, any money we can get to support our deputies with equipment since we are out in the desert stopping these drug traffickers coming in from Mexico, I'll take it," he said.

SB 1490 will head to a full Senate committee vote Thursday. If passed, it then heads to the House of Representatives.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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