New version of AL prison bill scales back construction plans

New version of AL prison bill scales back construction plans

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - An updated version of legislation to build several new prisons in Alabama has been filed and it's a scale back of previous plans.

The plan still calls for construction of three new prisons, but the updated version requires at least two of them to be built by local municipalities or groups. The state could still build a third prison, but only if it first gets leases on the two local facilities. If two communities or groups don't build, the entire plan would become null.

New plans also stipulate that the state could bond out at $350 million, down considerably from the $775 million and $800 million of previous plans. It shifts much of the financial burden to the local groups.

Local communities that build the prisons would be required to enter a 30-year lease-to-own agreement with the state and would be paid at a rate of $13.5 million per year, per agreement. DOC will get the final say on which groups get the go-ahead to build.

Senator Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said the bill changes came because the previous version did not have enough votes to pass. He said the new version will be introduced in committee Wednesday and could be on the floor Thursday.

The bill would also provide more than $100 million for renovations to older prison facilities.

READ THE BILL: (Lines through words mean they are being removed from the bill. Underlined segments are new additions.)

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