UPDATE: Assembly committee approves Walker's juvenile prison overhaul plan
A Wisconsin Assembly committee has voted to approve a hastily conceived plan that Gov. Scott Walker wants to pass this year to overhaul Wisconsin's juvenile justice system.
The Assembly Corrections Committee voted unanimously Thursday to pass the bill, moments after a public hearing where no one testified against it. The vote clears the way for the full Assembly to vote on the measure next week.
The bipartisan deal calls for closing the troubled Lincoln Hills prison by mid-2020, moving the most dangerous inmates into state-run facilities and putting counties in charge of housing the rest.
Lobbyists for the Wisconsin Counties Association expressed concerns about the aggressive timeline and how much the plan may cost counties. Lawmakers are promising to work with them and others on concerns as the bill moves forward.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker's juvenile justice overhaul plan that calls for closing the troubled Lincoln Hills prison is up for a key committee vote that would make it ready for legislative approval next week.
The bill is up for both a committee hearing and vote on Thursday, an unusual move that speaks to the urgency lawmakers feel to act this year.
Walker wants the Legislature to pass the bill before it adjourns for the year next month.
There is bipartisan support for the measure, but Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald has cautioned that it may not be possible to pass the complex overhaul of the youth prison system this year.
The bill calls for putting the most serious juvenile offenders in state prisons and leaving the counties in charge of housing the rest.
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