State Senate approves prison appropriation

Monday, August 29th 2005, 2:04 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State senators voted 46-to-1 Wednesday morning to approve a bill giving $11-million more dollars to state prisons to hire more guards and give them a raise.

But the effort may be futile because Republican leaders in the state House refused to call members into session. House Speaker Todd Hiett disagrees with Democratic Governor Brad Henry and Senate Democrats in the Senate that the special session is needed.

Hiett says the issue can wait until the regular session beginning in February.

The only no vote was by Democratic Senator Frank Shurden who says he supports pay raises and hiring more guards. But Shurden says the problem of overcrowding was created by the Legislature passing bills that send people to prison who don't deserve to be there.

The state Senate is also considering sending $10-million to the state centennial commission to pay for projects marking the state's 100th anniversary in 2007.

Another bill would revise workers' compensation laws by exempting some subcontractors from buying mandatory workers' compensation insurance.