Santa Clara County officials approve budget over jail objections
The most controversial item in the budget is a $689 million new jail. The board voted 3-2 in January to approve a 500-inmate maximum security facility despite hundreds of people who challenged the need for a jail. Supervisors Mike Wasserman, Joe Simitian and Lee voted for the jail and Susan Ellenberg and Cindy Chavez opposed it. Smith initially estimated the jail would cost $390 million. The board also voted to develop a standalone mental health treatment center for inmates. The budget includes roughly $1 million to develop plans for this facility.