Proposed Iowa budget wouldn't give additional funds to prisons
FORT MADISON, Ia. (WGEM) -
Some Iowa lawmakers say a house bill could leave prisons, like the one in Fort Madison, understaffed and vulnerable.
The bill would increase funding for more highway patrol troopers, but not add money to prisons.
The proposed budget for the Justice Department, which funds both prisons and the highway patrol, is at $4.9 million, an increase of almost four percent. The bill would not give anymore money to the Department of Corrections however in the new budget.
Democratic State Senator Rich Taylor, who represents District 42, says prisons need the money or there could be dangerous consequences.
"With no new money in our Department of Corrections, that would actually cut our already severely understaffed prisons," Taylor said. "It would even cut our correctional officers even more and make it just a dangerous place."
AFSCME Council 61 Union President Dan Homan says Iowa prisons don't have the appropriate level of staff needed and the state should fund more correctional officer jobs.