- Associated Press - Monday, June 30, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A legislative panel has advanced legislation aimed at easing an influx of state inmates at local jails by opening up money in the budget for more prison beds.

The Joint Budget Committee on Monday endorsed identical proposals to transfer $6.2 million in the budget to open 600 more prison beds. The proposals are expected to go before the House and Senate on Tuesday afternoon.

The prisons measure is one of three topics lawmakers are set to address during the special session that convened Monday. Law enforcement officials from around the state have asked for the additional funding to ease prison overcrowding as a result of stricter probation policies.

The panel rejected a separate bill addressing potential holiday pay for workers within the Department of Correction.

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