- Associated Press - Monday, February 13, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A Kansas House panel is not ready to endorse a proposal to have a private company build a new prison in Lansing and lease it to the state.

The Appropriations Committee on Monday voted 12-9 against including a provision endorsing the project in a budget bill. Members said they don’t yet have enough information and shouldn’t rush any decisions.

The Department of Corrections plans to solicit proposals from private companies to build a new prison to replace the state’s oldest one and largest one in Lansing.

The department believes that with a new, modern building, it can cut the prison’s staff by more than 40 percent and use the savings to cover an annual lease payment. The agency argues that the new building also will be safer.

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