Private prison in Shelby could be the savior in the state's budg - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Private prison in Shelby could be the savior in the state's budget issues

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GREAT FALLS -

A private prison in Shelby is being looked at as a potential savior in the state's budget issues. Montana is facing a $227 million dollar shortfall and now the governor is asking for 10 percent cuts across the board, but he's hopeful that lawmakers will be able to come together for a special legislative session to open up more income.

Republicans who control both the House and the Senate say they will not come to the table for tax increases but they would be willing to talk about extending the contract of the prison in Shelby. 

The state has put aside $30 million dollars to purchase the prison and run it as a part of state corrections. 

Republicans would like to see the contract extended with a private company-- freeing up the $30 million and preventing us from adding expenses to run the facility. 

State Senator Scott Sales of  Bozeman said, "I think that this is something that should be brought to the table if we are preparing to go into negotiations with the governor's office on how to right the ship and balance the budgets. Its a substantial pot of money that can be used to pay our bills on the fires."

Democrats have said they'd like to buy the prison back-but the governor's office said negotiations are happening every day. 
The governor's office tells us they won't call a session unless they're confident a deal will be reached. 

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