Top GOP lawmakers hold up nearly $10M for Kansas prisons

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Top Republican legislators are holding up nearly $10 million in funds for Kansas prisons that corrections officials say they need to deal with overcrowding.

GOP leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature expressed strong reservations Wednesday about plans by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s administration to ship inmates to private prisons outside Kansas.

They also expressed doubts that a plan to move adult female inmates into empty space in a juvenile corrections center is legal.

Lawmakers included nearly $36 million in extra funds for the Department of Corrections in the next state budget. But Republicans worried enough about how it would be spent to require Kelly to get top legislative leaders to sign off before nearly $28 million could be used.

Legislative leaders did approve $9 million for pay raises for prison employees.

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