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.