ST. PAUL – Prairie Correctional Facility supporters received great news recently as State Representative Tim Miller’s (R-Prinsburg) Appleton prison bill was included in a public safety conference committee report.
A conference committee is called when the Minnesota House and Senate pass similar, but not identical, bills on a particular topic. The goal is for the five representatives and five senators who serve on the committee to craft legislation that can be approved by both bodies.
Because both the House and Senate agree to include the Prairie Correctional Facility bill in its conference committee report, it is extremely likely that Governor Dayton will soon make the final call on the prison’s fate.
“Last year, I was pleased to help secure House support for this needed proposal,” Miller said. “This year, it now appears we’re going to have sign-off in both the House and the Senate once the conference committee report is wrapped up and approved by both bodies. If that happens, it will be on Governor Dayton to agree to bring 300 good-paying union jobs to Swift County and to utilize a state-of-the-art facility to address Minnesota’s prison bed capacity needs.”
Miller’s proposal would allow criminals 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.