Nebraska lawmakers face a looming budget shortfall when they convene in January, but members of a key budget-writing committee say they still hope to boost funding for the state’s problem-plagued prison system.
Senators on the Appropriations Committee said it’s too early to know exactly how they’ll balance the budget while addressing major staffing shortages in the Department of Correctional Services. The options could include cuts to other programs, delaying action on other spending requests and tapping the state’s cash reserve.
The department unveiled a package Thursday that includes a $15.6 million budget increase to reduce staffing shortages and turnover in Nebraska’s prisons.
In addition, the department is asking lawmakers for $75.2 million over four years to build a reception and treatment center for elderly and mentally ill inmates.