Budget writers approve 7% increase in prisons budget

Budget writers approve 7% increase in prisons budget

Budget writers approve 7% increase in prisons budget

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by Rebecca Boone / Associated Press

KTVB.COM

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 4:27 PM

BOISE -- Idaho's legislative budget writers have approved a 7 percent general fund increase for the Department of Correction, with most of the money covering cost increases in the state's contracts with private prison companies and a medical provider.

Though the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee approved the $202 million budget -- including $180 million in general funds -- unanimously Tuesday morning, several members voiced concerns about the cost and value of Idaho's contract with Corrections Corporation of America, the Nashville, Tenn.-based company that runs the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise.

Still, the lawmakers stopped short of approving a motion from Rep. Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow, encouraging the department to look into bidding on the facility. Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, said he supported the idea but felt the motion overstepped the committee's role.

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