Governor Kay Ivey's educational budget proposal includes $100 million for prison construction in Elmore and Escambia County.
The total is included in an appropriation to the Alabama Community College System for "prison education" in Ivey's Education Trust Fund (ETF) proposal sent to lawmakers last week for their consideration.
"This funding would support the construction of the education and vocational facilities at the planned Elmore and Escambia prison facilities," Alabama Dept. of Finance Director Bill Poole told AL.com. "These funds would be restricted such that they could not be used for any purpose related to those projects beyond the construction and equipping of the education and vocational facilities."
Members of the Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority (ACIFA) increased the project price cap on constructing a new 4,000-bed prison in Elmore County from about $623.6 million to $975 million — a 56% increase — on March 15.
Poole told the Associated Press after the ACIFA meeting that the large price increase was due to inflation and design alterations.
"We've increased, for instance, the education and vocational space. There have been other scope and parameters that have changed. Inflation has had a significant impact on construction costs, as is seen across all economic sectors," Poole said.
In addition to the $100 million for prison construction, Ivey's budget proposal also includes $1 billion for tax rebates, $25 million for Montgomery Whitewater and $5 million for the World Games deficit.
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