POSTED: Thursday, February 11, 2010 - 9:32am
UPDATED: Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 8:11pm
Austin - Some Texas prisons could face closure to help balance the state budget.
The deadline is Monday for state agencies to offer proposed cuts amounting to 5 percent of their budgets. The request came in January from Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus.
The Austin American-Statesman reported Thursday that Texas prison officials are looking for perhaps as much as $300 million in cutbacks.
House Corrections Committee Chairman Jim McReynolds says the issue of possibly closing prisons is "absolutely on the table."
Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire of Houston says public safety cannot be compromised and he is
"opposed to closing prisons just to save a buck."
Texas has 112 units and spends nearly $3 billion annually to house more than 153,000 inmates, although the prison population has been decreasing.