The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors has announced the formation of a Public Safety Funding Committee to identify and pursue long-term funding sources for several public safety initiatives. The board has carefully selected and appointed nine respected members of the public to propel the committee’s critical mission forward. The committee’s structure and operations will mirror the proven model set forth by the Citizens Advisory Committee on Jail Planning created in 1997.
“In my chairman’s address earlier this month, I vowed to form a Public Safety Funding Committee to look at sustainable funding options for our public safety and criminal justice system,” said Chairman Jack Sellers, who represents District 1 on the Board of Supervisors. “This committee will enable us to work more closely with the public to transparently fund public safety while providing excellent value for our hard-working taxpayers.”
The committee is being formed to address the expiration of the Jail Excise Tax, a 1/5 cent tax approved by voters in 1998 and extended for another 20 years in 2002. The tax funds the construction, maintenance, and operation of adult and juvenile facilities and is projected to bring in an estimated $270 million in revenue in FY 2024.
The Public Safety Funding Committee will engage with key stakeholders to determine possible long-term funding options. This review will include an assessment of existing adult and juvenile jail facilities, the current Jail Master Plan, the current Jail Capital Improvement Plan, and probation and other recidivism programming that impact the public safety fund. The committee will provide recommendations to the Board of Supervisors by the end of the year.
Each member of the Board of Supervisors appointed a committee member with the Chairman of the Board appointing two. The remaining individuals were appointed by the County Attorney (MCAO), Sheriff (MCSO), and the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. Committee members come from a diverse set of backgrounds and career fields including law enforcement, correctional health, criminal justice, politics, and business. The nine individuals appointed to the committee are:
- John Lewis, Chairman
- Dr. Heather Carter, District 1
- Assistant Chief Dan Butler, District 2
- Chief Brian Tobin, District 3
- Jason Baran, District 4
- Marissa Calderón, District 5
- Kimber Lanning, MCAO
- Dawn Noggle, MCSO
- Barbara Broderick, Superior Court
Brian Schmitt has been tasked with ensuring the committee is able to successfully complete the charge given by the Board of Supervisors. He has most recently served as Executive Director of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission and as Chief of Staff for District 2 of the Phoenix City Council.
The Public Safety Funding Committee was modeled after the Citizens Advisory Committee on Jail Planning created in 1997. The committee held 19 public hearings and received information from citizens and nationally recognized jail experts to assess the needs of the County’s criminal justice system and propose funding solutions. This committee ran legislation for the original Jail Excise Tax proposition to appear on the ballot, which was approved by voters in November 1998.
Maricopa County residents can learn more about the Public Safety Funding Committee and submit feedback on the committee’s progress at Maricopa.gov/SafetyFunding.