Retaining personnel, in part through better pay, is especially important given that more than 220 current troopers are eligible for retirement. Lawmakers need to consider this next session, just as they must consider the Department of Corrections' plea to fund better pay for prison guards. Our teeming prisons are manned all too often by badly outnumbered and poorly paid officers. The DOC has the funding to fill just 69 percent of authorized positions, and hasn't even been able to do that because of the pay and working conditions.
Republicans who control the Legislature talk often about right-sizing state government. Doing so may require not cutting or raising taxes, but putting more revenue into certain needs.