Texas political leaders have

transferred almost $115 million o

state funds into an emergency prin

construction program and

compensation for counties that ar

incarcerating prisoners in municil jails.

The transfer, approved by the

Legislative Budget Board last wee

comes from $81.2 million in savin

on state employee group health cos

and $33.4 million from the

unclaimed money fund in the Texas Treasury.

For the past several months, ste

leaders have been scrambling to fd

funds for the emergency prison

program that officials said would accelerate the addition of about,000

prison beds when the program was

announced earlier this year.

Designed to alleviate a countyil

overcrowding crisis, the program

involves adding beds at existing

prisons, setting up boot camps, a

opening new prisons.

In addition, Texas is moving

forward with plans to approximate

triple the number of prison beds, with capacity jumping from about

55,000 to 162,000 in 1996.

On July 20, the Texas Public

Finance Authority plans to hold a competitive sale for $141.87 milln of

general obligation bonds. The

proceeds will be used for both th

emergency and ongoing prison progms.

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