AL lawmakers have a prison bill, but can they stay on board? - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

AL lawmakers have a prison bill, but can they stay on board?

(Source: WSFA 12 News file photo) (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

After months of talk, Alabama lawmakers have a prison plan: Issuing a $775 million bond to build three prisons and renovate old facilities. It's passed its first test, making it out of a committee. But where does it go from here?

Lawmakers have the plan, but now the challenge is keeping people on board. Three-quarters of a billion dollars is a lot of money, and while the issues with the prison system are huge there are a lot of different opinions on how the money should be spent.

The current plan is the result of negotiations to try to make sure lawmakers have a plan they can work with. But some wonder if the plan does enough to address major prison issues like mental health and understaffing.

For many, though, it does something to help out a prison system which desperately needs attention. Senate Pro tem Del Marsh, R- District 12, seemed optimistic a bill like it is now can get passed.

"I think it's a bill that solves a lot of the state, from overcrowding to mental health to vocational training," Marsh explained. "I think it also has the ability to shift some of the burden away from the state to the local municipalities and counties. So all that was good. So I am very optimistic about that piece of legislation where it is right now."

The bill could be brought up on the Senate floor this week, but lawmakers could very well wait till after spring break to address the issue.

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