Senate approves Alabama prison infrastructure bill

State legislators meet about a prison reform bill

The total cost of the prison construction package is $1.3 billion, $400 million of which would come from the state's pandemic relief funds.

Posted: Oct 1, 2021 12:00 PM
Updated: Oct 1, 2021 12:05 PM

A plan to build new prisons in Alabama has won approval in the state Senate — with a change to one bill.

The senators' change means the bill will go back to the House of Representatives, which must approve the change. Gov. Kay Ivey said on Twitter she looks forward to signing the bills into law as soon as possible.

Ivey called a special session of the Legislature to address the state's outdated and overcrowded prison system. The special session began Monday, with some legislators saying at the time they expected to have a plan approved by the weekend.

This week, the state House approved a $1.3-billion prison construction package that would use $400 million of the state's pandemic relief funds to help pay for building three new prisons. 

The plan to use pandemic funds drew sharp criticism from some Democrats, including the state's lone Democratic congresswoman. Ivey has argued it's an appropriate expenditure.

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