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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tim Miller (R)

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

ST. PAUL – State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) said bills that would establish a veterans home in Montevideo and re-open the Prairie Correction Facility in Appleton are making good progress in Minnesota House committees.


“We’ve heard good testimony from local officials in favor of these bills, and we’re seeing good support from lawmakers in these committees as well,” Miller said.


Miller’s Minnesota Veterans and Quality of Life Act would secure $6 million in bonding proceeds to build a facility in Montevideo. The City of Montevideo and Chippewa County have already found ways to fund all but $6 million of the state’s financial requirement. Roughly two-thirds of the costs for a new veterans’ home would come from federal contributions.


Miller said this proposal was recently approved by the Minnesota House State Government Finance Committee, and now heads to the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee for further debate.


Miller's bill that would re-open the Appleton prison would allow offenders to be housed in non-publicly owned facilities. It also would require the State of Minnesota to enter into a contract to operate and purchase or lease to own the Prairie Correctional Facility in order to address prison bed capacity shortfalls throughout the state. This would create room for 1,600 inmates and provide roughly 300 jobs to Swift County residents.


“We continue to have a housing problem with offenders in Minnesota, but we have a solution in Appleton and I’m hoping we can use that,” Miller said.


The Appleton prison bill was included by the Minnesota House Public Safety and Security Policy and Finance Committee in a larger omnibus bill that was unveiled on March 22.