If state representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg were a teenager, the attitude displayed at Tuesday night's League of Women Voters forum in Willmar for state house districts 17A and 17B might be unremarkable.
Miller is 52 years old.
In Minnesota House 17A, 17B candidates speak to voters, West Central Tribune reporters Shelby Linrud reported:
Miller was late to the forum and did not have the opportunity for an open statement, along with missing the first two questions on child care and rural transit. Miller first made an appearance at the governor's forum held at MinnWest Technology Campus before arriving at his own forum.
"I was late to class," Miller said when he arrived.
Well then. Boys will be boys.
The bromance with Jeff Johnson continued the next day, when both men toured the shuttered private prison owned by CoreCivic (the human traffickers formerly known as Correction Corporation of America) in Appleton, Minnesota.
While Miller calls leasing or buying the facility a no-brainer, MPR reported in January Leasing private Appleton prison would be costly:
The report by Klein McCarthy Architects says leasing the Appleton facility would cost almost $100 dollars a day per inmate.
It would cost the state nearly $200 million to buy and fix the prison, spreading the repair bill over 15 years, according to the report.
Staffing would also cost more at Appleton, about $82 a day per inmate, compared to $66 at the comparably sized Stillwater prison.
Tom Cherveny had more for the Forum News Service in Study breaks down cost scenarios for state’s use of shuttered private prison:
There are now price tags for the state of Minnesota to either purchase, upgrade and operate the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton, or to lease it.
A newly released architectural assessment of the facility in far west-central Minnesota for the state Legislature determined the total project cost for the state to purchase and upgrade the prison to meet state needs would total $139 million, representing $86,875 per bed for the 1,600-inmate facility.
After 15 years, the total invested by the state including its purchase, construction upgrades and all associated costs would total $196.5 million, according to the report. . . .
Unfortunately, those who seek to advance other solutions to addressing Minnesota's prison population won't find an ally in his DFL opponent. While still a state senator, Lyle Koenen worked with Miller as the upper chamber's co-sponsor of the Republican's bill in 2016.
Most recently, the private prison has been touted as a place for ICE, a federal agency, to stash unauthorized immigrants. We're looking into how that's going.
Photo: State representative Tim Miller.
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