House OKs new prison commission

Relocation • Panel consists of lawmakers who will make a decision on new site.
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The House gave its approve Wednesday to create a new commission to locate a new home for the state prison now in Draper.

The House passed SB268 on a 64-8 vote. Because it included an amendment to slightly cut spending for the panel, the bill was sent back to the Senate for a final vote.

"The focus of this commission is a new prison. It [the bill] actually prohibits this commission from working on or doing anything related to the development of the ground in Draper," said Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, the House sponsor of the bill.

The Prison Relocation Commission would present its recommendations to the Legislature next year. The panel's only voting members would be lawmakers.

The bill would provide $3.4 million to pay for siting services and salaries of lawmakers and staff assigned to the commission.

The commission would include three senators and four representatives; each group must include one minority party member. The executive directors of the Utah Department of Corrections and the Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice also would be nonvoting members of the commission.