Prisons get more money, more concerns

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May 9, 2019 - 10:27 AM

Kansas lawmakers agreed to boost funding for prisons to address low pay, inmate crowding and other issues, but officials worry about strings attached to the new funds. KCUR

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A plan for fixing problems in the troubled Kansas prison system that could have created bipartisan harmony has instead inspired finger pointing and prompted complaints that the Republican-controlled Legislature botched pieces of the next state budget.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly and Republican legislators agreed that the state Department of Corrections needed extra funds to boost employees’ pay, deal with inmate crowding and address other issues. They also agreed on a figure: almost $36 million, or an extra 8.8% for the budget year beginning in July.

However, the department, Kelly and her fellow Democrats are unhappy because of strings Republican legislators attached to the new funds.

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