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TX Voters Approve Prison Expansion

Texas voters approved prison expansion this week as Proposition 4 passed among the state's various constitutional amendments. Despite opposition to the initiative, including from Grits for Breakfast, voters approved prison construction by a margin of 58% to 42%.

While Prop. 4 included other measures like funding state parks and a new facility for the mentally ill, the measure also obligates Texas taxpayers to fund the construction of three new prison units, the largest expansion since the 1990s.

We previously covered the expansion authorized by elected officials during the 80th Legislature. The budget that state policymakers passed in May authorized general revenue funding for new prison construction of nearly 4,000 beds. And while the recent vote authorizes general obligation bonds to fund new construction, correctional officials must get approval from the Legislative Budget Board before the building begins.

We will continue to monitor the developments of the expansion and let you readers know if private prison companies will operate any of these new beds.

Previous Coverage on the 80th Legislature:

  1. More Prison Beds on the Way
  2. Legislative Update
  3. 80th Legislative Session: Mixed Results on Private Prisons