First Round Approval Granted For Partial New Prison Funding

(KFOR NEWS April 10, 2021) (AP) – Nebraska lawmakers have set the stage for a new, $230 million prison even as other states close theirs, but they stopped short of fully endorsing the idea. Lawmakers gave first-round approval to $14.9 million in state funding that would allow the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to start designing and planning for a prison to house 1,512 inmates and relieve chronic overcrowding. The measure includes $18 million to add bed space for inmates who are elderly, have mental health issues and those with special needs. The Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee agreed to set aside $115 million – half of the new prison’s cost – but members held off on approving the money until they know more about their options.