Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Minn. legislators discuss Department of Corrections' $14M budget shortfall, prison closures, rape kit testing


September 2, 2020

Minnesota Capitol. Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- As Minnesota lawmakers face a multi-billion-dollar state deficit and public calls to reform public safety following the death of George Floyd, officials are debating where to prioritize funding for state Departments of Public Safety and Corrections.

In an hours-long and wide-ranging informational hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 1, the Minnesota House's Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform committee discussed the Department of Corrections' recent decision to close two correctional facilities in northeast Minnesota, as well as a bill on rape kit testing.

Earlier this year, Minnesota was projected to see a $1.5 billion surplus, but the coronavirus pandemic and related costs swung the fiscal pendulum and the state now has a projected $2.4 billion deficit. The DOC alone is facing a $14 million budget shortfall, and announced in August plans to close two of its smallest correctional facilities -- Togo and Willow River -- in an attempt to cut costs.


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