Top Kansas lawmakers set to decide on building new prison

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Gov. 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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