Utah lawmakers eye budget surplus to fund new state prison

Utah lawmakers eye budget surplus to fund new state prison

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Legislature voted unanimously to allocate $235 million to the construction of a new state prison in Salt Lake City.

Sen. Jerry Stevenson, R-Layton, says lawmakers had already authorized up to $285 million in bonding for the prison relocation project. But new state revenue numbers released Monday show more than $1.3 billion in new state revenue will be available for the next legislative session, thus, Stevenson says, allowing for a cash payment on construction in lieu of credit.

The bill directs $67 million for the project in 2019 and $168 million in 2020. The new prison is estimated to cost $700 million.