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Top Kansas Lawmakers Approve Plan for Proposed New Prison

A new prison has been proposed to replace this existing prison in Lansing.  (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

UPDATE: Prison Plan Approved 

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) —  Kansas is moving forward with a plan to have the nation's largest private-prison operator build a new state prison. Top Kansas legislators gave their final approval Wednesday to the project during a meeting with Republican Governor Sam Brownback. A state law authorizing the new prison in Lansing required a final go-ahead from the Legislature's top eight leaders. Tennessee-based CoreCivic will build a new, 2,400-bed prison to replace the state's oldest and largest prison in Lansing. Kansas will pay for the project over 20 years through a lease with the company and spend a total $362 million. The state will oversee day-to-day operations. The legislative leaders split 5-3 over the project. The department has faced skepticism about whether the lease-purchase deal is the most cost-effective option.

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(earlier version)
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Governor Sam Brownback plans to meet with top Kansas legislators to see whether they'll approve a plan to have the nation's largest private-prison operator build a new state prison.  The Republican governor and the Legislature's top eight leaders were scheduled to discuss the project Wednesday afternoon. The Department of Corrections wants to build a new 2,400-bed prison to replace the state's oldest and largest one in Lansing.  The state would buy the new prison from Tennessee-based CoreCivic through a 20-year lease with the company that would cost a total of $362 million. The state would oversee day-to-day operations.  A Kansas law authorizing the project requires Brownback to get the approval of five of the eight leaders. He's faced skepticism about whether the lease-purchase deal is the most cost-effective option.
 

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