Senators Debate Closing Correctional Center to Save Money

State senators continued debate Wednesday, on different amendments to try and bridge the state's budget gap. One amendment that was added to a bill would close the Lincoln Correctional Center.

If senators decide to close down LCC hundreds of inmates could be without a cell and hundreds of guards without a job.

The state's second oldest prison has drawn the attention of state lawmakers. Senator Dwite Pederson has authored an amendment to close the Lincoln Correctional Center. It's a surprise move to the prison's 240-employees. Currently the prison holds nearly twice the number of inmates it was designed to. Inmates say closing the crowded facility would force different prison populations, to live together.

Pederson's proposal would save the state more than 10-million dollars annually. It's possible that more people would be paroled. Under Sen. Pederson's plan only non-violent inmates who are up for parole would be considered for release. The rest of the prison's population would be transferred to the other 2 state prisons. Late Wednesday afternoon an attempt to remove the amendment from the bill failed. Governor Johanns promises to veto the budget plan if that amendment is not taken out.