Bill Blocking Prison Expansion Advances in House

By: AP
By: AP

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ House members are trying to keep the state from building new prison space.

They've given first-round approval on a voice vote to a bill revoking the authority of the Department of Corrections to issue $39.5 million in bonds for expansion projects.

Final action was expected Friday. Passage then would send the bill to the Senate. But Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, an Independence Republican, opposes the bill.

Legislators agreed only last year to allow the expansion of the prison system. In October, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and legislative leaders removed the last legal hurdles to the department issuing the bonds whenever it wants.

Now some critics are saying the state won't need the extra space.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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