OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have set the stage for a new, $230 million prison even as other states close theirs, but they stopped short of fully endorsing the idea.
Lawmakers gave first-round approval to $14.9 million in state funding that would allow the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to start designing and planning for a prison to house 1,512 inmates and relieve chronic overcrowding.
The measure includes $18 million to add bed space for inmates who are elderly, have mental health issues and those with special needs.
The Legislature’s budget-writing Appropriations Committee agreed to set aside $115 million — half of the new prison’s cost — but members held off on approving the money until they know more about their options.