Lane, Curry and Josephine counties are asking voters to raise their taxes to restore deep cuts to law enforcement after a longstanding federal subsidy expired.
All three counties saw big budget gaps after a federal safety net for timber counties known as the Secure Rural Schools Act expired, and taxpayers refused to pay the difference. County officials are hoping that voters will agree to restore bare bones law enforcement services after a year of living with revolving jail doors, reduced sheriff's patrols and fewer prosecutors.
"If it fails May 21, come June 30 there is a very, very good likelihood Curry County won't exist as we know it today," Sheriff John Bishop said. "We won't have a jail, we won't have patrol, we won't have a sheriff's office period. If it does pass, it will allow us to continue running until a permanent solution is found."
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