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State lawmakers view corrections woes

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- A group of state senators toured the state penitentiary in McAlester Monday in an effort to win support for more funding for the Department of Corrections.

The tour came after Senator Kenneth Corn held a subcommittee meeting at the prison and called for more funding to hire prison guards.

State lawmakers are to meet in special session to consider providing more money for both corrections and for the state's centennial celebration. But Governor Henry says the session won't begin until legislative leaders agree on both issues.

House Speaker Todd Hiett has said he doesn't see a need for a special session and that the issues can wait until next year.

But Corn says the Corrections Department is in a crisis and can't wait. He says the department has a 23 percent shortfall in guards.
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