Senate Sends Prison Bill to Conference Committee

This photo released Thursday

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s $800 million prison construction plan is headed to a conference committee as the clock winds down on the legislative session.

State senators voted 28-5 Tuesday night to send the bill to a conference committee. Bentley is trying to win approval of the plan before the session ends Wednesday.

Bentley is seeking to borrow $800 million to build three new mega-prisons for men – housing up to 4,000 inmates each – and one new women’s prison. Most existing prisons would close under the plan.

The House of Representatives and Senate have both approved the concept. However, House members added an amendment that says lawmakers must also approve a cost analysis and project feasibility report before construction could begin.

Bentley opposes the amendment.

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