Prison Bill Clears House Panel

LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Mike Beebe's plan to ease overcrowding in state prisons and grapple with growing prisons costs cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday with only one "no" vote.

Senate Bill 750, sponsored by Sen. Jim Luker, D-Wynne, advances to the House, where it has 71 co-sponsors. It cleared the Senate last week 31-0.

The bill, which is based on recommendations from a working group, initially drew opposition from prosecutors who feared it would put violent criminals on the street, but after some revisions the measure won endorsements from the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association as well as the Arkansas Sheriffs Association and the Arkansas Judicial Council.  More...

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