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Harris County is suffering deeply from the effects of yet another, completely separate epidemic, an epidemic of crime and violence.
In response, Judge Lina Hidalgo this week offered up a $17 million dollar plan to whittle away the mind-blowing 140,000 case backlog sitting unresolved in our criminal courts.
The temporary measure funds the hiring of so-called "associate judges" and expands jury operations at NRG.
There’s also a $2 million dollar appropriation for a dozen additional prosecutors - manpower district attorney Kim Ogg has been pleading for.
A little history.
Long before this crime wave unfolded D.A. Ogg asked for more than 100 additional prosecutors to help ease the pressure on a team burdened with among the heaviest caseloads in the country.
Hidalgo and fellow democrats in the majority said "no" repeatedly.
A supporter of the D.A.'s office described this plan as a "fig leaf" solution to a problem that's spiraling out of control.