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Proposed law would require notice of Pa. prison closings

June 19, 2018 Digital Media Exclusive

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HARRISBURG — The state House State Government Committee held a hearing Monday on a proposed bill that would require state departments to give advanced notice and invite public input before closing state correctional institutions and law enforcement facilities.

The Public Safety Facilities act, SB 748, and a companion bill, HB 1606, would require at least 12 months notice before the closing of a state correctional or law enforcement facility.

Departments would also be required to work with stakeholders, relevant commonwealth departments and local entities to understand the impact of the proposed closure and to present a report containing those findings to the governor, the majority leader and minority leader of the senate and the majority leader and minority leader of the house.

Facilities would also have to hold at least one public hearing at least 120 days before the final decision and announcement of a closure.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12, heard from the bills' main sponsors and took testimony from public officials and sector experts.

Rep. Jeff Wheeland, R-83, prime sponsor of the companion bill HB 1606, emphasized that the bill was not intended to stop facilities from closing but to give communities more time to react and prepare.

A full story will appear in the Butler Eagle.

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