Eugene (KMTR) - A vote Monday sent Lane county's budget in motion for the next fiscal year, and with it, a get out of jail free card to nearly a hundred jail inmates.
By a vote of three in favor and two against, county commissioners approved sweeping budget cuts, layoffs, and service reductions.
Lane county's budget is a little more than 482 million dollars with nearly thirteen hundred employees.
That's 98.9 million less than the current budget which ends June 30th. 188 Full time workers will lose their jobs.
The sheriff's office is taking the biggest hit by cutting forty deputies and forty support staff.
Sheriff Tom Turner says Lane county's jail capacity could end up eing the lowest in the nation, based on per capita calculations.
County commissioners say the budget has been hard hit by cuts from the federal government.
County Commissioner Sid Leiken says this is the first year the county won't receive any timber money. He says local leaders need to keep the pressure on to have those funds reestablished. "My personal feeling is, the federal government is slapping us in the face, and I find that to be very disappointing."
Because of the cuts, county inmates will be released, and beds at the jail will be closed.
On the morning of Tuesday, June 26th, 32 inmates will walk free. 64 More inmates will walk free over the next two days.
Sheriff Turner says such a drastic reduction in jail beds could result in a rise in crime, and failure to appear rates when the jail is unable to hold inmates until their court date.
He says a county the size of Lane should have about one thousand jail beds for local offenders.