Department Of Corrections Says It Needs $23 Million

Monday, February 29th 2016, 6:30 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

With the state facing a nearly $1.3 billion dollar budget shortfall, one key agency says it will be out of money before the end of the fiscal year.

The director of the state Department of Corrections sent lawmakers a letter, saying the department needs almost $23 million to pay the bills. 

The letter outlined deficits in payroll of $5.6 million; medical care for inmates $1 million; contracted services, $10.8 million and additional costs of $5.5 million. 

State leaders are looking into it to see which of those figures can be whittled down. 

“We don’t have an extra $23 million,” state Rep. Earl Sears, state Appropriations and Budget Committee chair. “So what we’re scrubbing is if we can only give them 19 what would it be?  If we can only give them 18 how would we approach that.”

DOC spokesman Alex Gerszewski said $23 million is the lowest the department can go. 

“That’s bare bones,” he said. “If we don’t get that money, we will be broke.”