Multibillion-Dollar Plan for Prison Health

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, April 14, 2008

The plan by the federally appointed health care receiver, J. Clark Kelso, calls for improvement to prison facilities and adding more than 10,000 health care beds.  Governor Schwarzenegger’s administration puts a price tag of seven billion dollars on the proposal. The money would come mainly from the sale of state bonds. A court is forcing the state to make the changes after substandard conditions were found in the prisons. Kelso says it’s a lot of money but his proposal is comprehensive.

Kelso: “I’m asking for the full amount, I hope to get it this year and then I won’t come back asking for more.” 
Last year a prison expansion and reform law authorized more than $1 billion for inmate health care. Some lawmakers say the additional funding could mean budget cuts elsewhere as the state faces an $8 billion deficit.