Oklahoma lawmakers could consider new prison

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A legislative budget leader says Oklahoma lawmakers could be willing to approve a bond package to build new prisons if needed.

Department of Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh told lawmakers at a Senate Appropriations and Budget Committee hearing Tuesday that he hasn't seen much of an interest in the House or Senate to adopt a bond measure, which could total more than $800 million.

But Committee Chair Kim David notes that the Legislature adopted a $58.5 million bond package last year to build a new state health lab. She says that there's an interest "if the need is there."

The Oklahoman reports that David requested Allbaugh provide plans for where a prison would be, how much it would cost and other details to help lawmakers decide.

Allbaugh says the statewide prison population is currently at 115 percent of capacity.

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