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Eye On Boise

Senate passes prison budget, sends it to governor’s desk

With no debate, the Senate has voted 32-3 in favor of HB 678, the corrections budget for next year. The budget shows a 7.3 percent increase over this year in state general funds, which is an $11.4 million increase, but a drop in other funds from this year; the overall increase in total funds is 3.5 percent.

It includes a 3 percent increase in per-inmate payments to Corrections Corporation of America, which operates the Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise for the state, as required by the state's $29.8 million annual contract with CCA; and a $3.8 million boost in ongoing state general funding for community-based treatment, to replace a similar amount funded on a one-time basis this year from the tobacco-settlement Millenium Fund. It also includes a $1.3 million boost in spending, all from general funds, for a 4.5 percent rate adjustment in the state's medical services contract for prison inmates. The House-passed appropriation bill now heads to Gov. Butch Otter.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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