- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - The state budget that has passed the Vermont House this week would keep a St. Johnsbury work camp open by filling it with additional inmates.

Rep. Mary Hooper, a Democrat, tells The Burlington Free Press (http://bfpne.ws/1WN0DZq ) the plan would also allow about 50 inmates to return to Vermont from an out-of-state prison.

The Caledonia Community Work Camp currently houses 56 inmates, but has the capacity for 112.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced his intentions to close the camp in January. But House lawmakers instead decided to use the empty beds for inmates who’ve served their minimum sentence but are held for lack of housing.

The proposal is embedded into the $5.8 billion spending package that received initial approved by the House on Wednesday.

Hooper says the proposal is subject to change.

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Information from: The Burlington Free Press, http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com

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