Senate Republicans have unveiled a bonding bill larger than the one proposed by their House counterparts, but the request for a fence around the Shakopee women's prison has been locked out – for now.
While the Senate bill calls for spending $496 million on building projects, roads and bridges and other projects across the state, the House bill is at $280 million. Neither proposal includes any funding for a fence in Shakopee.
Gov. Mark Dayton has included a $5.4 million prison fence for Shakopee in his $775 million bonding bill proposal and Department of Corrections officials hope it makes its way back into the final bill.
“We are disappointed that it didn’t not make it in the first drafts of the House or Senate bonding bills, but we are hopeful that legislators will include this important public safety priority in the final version of the legislation," said John Schadl, communications director for the Department of Corrections.
The $5.4 million sought by the DOC is for constructing a perimeter prison offiicals call a compromise – it's more expensive than some but fits in with its residential surroundings.
In February, the Shakopee City Council voted to support funding for a fence, with the exception of councilor Matt Lehman, who abstained from the vote.