House Appropriations Committee tables bill seeking $2.25 million for regional jail


A bill seeking $2.25 million from the state to help Brown County with the purchase of a vacant industrial building in Aberdeen has essentially died for lack of action.

Brown County commissioners are considering the $4.5 million purchase of the Hub City Inc. building in the Aberdeen industrial park to repurpose it for a regional jail. The Aberdeen Development Corp. is currently purchasing the building and intends to place it on the open market by April 1.

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During testimony about House Bill 1288, Brown County Commissioner Mike Wiese said the county has a limited window of opportunity to purchase the building before it is made available to the public.

House Bill 1288 was one of three bills before the House Appropriations Committee seeking funding for county jail facilities. The other two, House Bills 1101 and 1132, each sought $10 million for jail facilities in Lincoln and Lawrence counties. Those bills were also tabled by the House Appropriations Committee.

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Wednesday was crossover day at the Legislature, meaning the House had to take action on any bills introduced in the chamber before the end of the day. District 3 Sen. Al Novstrup, R-Aberdeen, one of the sponsors of House Bill 1288, said tabling it and not taking action essentially killed it, though it could still be revived.

Novstrup said the topic of funding for county jails is not dead. Senate Concurrent Resolution 608 was introduced Wednesday. It seeks an interim study to look at local jails and opportunities for collaboration with state corrections plans, he said.

This article originally appeared on Aberdeen News: Appropriations tables bill seeking funds for Brown County jail