2 Democratic lawmakers affirm support for new Kansas prison

LANSING, Kan. (AP) – Two Kansas House Democrats are reaffirming their support for a plan from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration to build a new prison in Lansing.

Reps. Debbie Deere of Lansing and Jeff Pittman of nearby Leavenworth said building a new prison is important for the state’s security.

The new prison for 2,400 inmates would replace the state’s oldest and largest one in Lansing.

The Department of Corrections plans to have Nashville, Tennessee-based private-prison operator CoreCivic build the new prison.

The state would pay for the two-year, $170 million project by leasing it from CoreCivic for 20 years before owning it. CoreCivic would handle upkeep, but the state would staff and run the prison.

Other Democrats have criticized the lease-purchase arrangement as potentially more expensive than using bonds to finance the project.

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