Alabama Prison Construction Bill Faces First Test

Supreme Court To Rule On California's Overcrowded PrisonsAlabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s prison construction proposal is facing its first legislative test.

Bentley is asking lawmakers to approve an $800 million bond issue to build four new prisons and close most existing facilities. Some members of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee questioned aspects of the project during a public hearing Wednesday.

Some lawmakers say they have concerns about the state’s ability to afford the project.

Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn told lawmakers the new prisons will alleviate overcrowding and replace outdated facilities where it is difficult to maintain security. Bentley has said the state can repay the bond issue out of the savings.

Committee chairman Trip Pittman says the proposal is good, but he adds others are opposed.

The committee is expected to vote next week.

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