Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City maybe in state representative Brian Johnson's district, but he's not solidly on board with the proposed expansion of the facility, ECM Post Review's Jon Tatting reports in Rep. Johnson talks issues with RC Council.
Expanding the prison would add to the local economy, although Johnson isn't holding out for the proposal's success next session, Tatting reports after Johnson met with the Rush City Council:
On the state correctional facility’s plan to expand by 500 beds in Rush City, Johnson said he is aware of the proposal, though he doesn’t know about the bonding or other options in securing the funds needed. After the meeting, he couldn’t say if the expansion would even be considered in the 2016 legislative session, which is a bonding year for lawmakers.
Still, those in Rush City are hopeful for the additional space, estimated at costing more than $1 million, as it would likely mean more good-paying jobs for an area where nearly half of the existing employees live within 20 miles of the state-run prison.
Optimistic the proposal will be prioritized by state lawmakers is James Benson, new warden of the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City, who discussed the expansion plan at a recent Rush City Area Chamber of Commerce networking lunch. He said the 351 staff already working at the prison would likely increase by 154 with the addition.
Johnson is only thinking of others, it seems:
Yet other facilities and areas of the state have needs, as well.
“We’re trying to find the best bang for the buck,” Johnson said Monday night.
Could he have reopening Correction Corporation of America's private prison in Appleton on his mind? How thoughtful of him.
Our earlier coverage of the proposed re-opening of CCA's Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton:
It's also worth noting that independent candidate in the special election for MN House seat 3A, former Grocery Manufacturers' Association lobbyist Kelsey Johnson, who terminated her registration as a lobbyist on August 24, lobbied for CCA in 2013. Capitol Hill Strategies, where Johnson worked before leaving for the GMA, continues to have CCA as a client.
Photo: Minnesota Correctional Facility-Rush City, via Minnesota Department of Corrections.
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