Monday, February 21, 2011

DeWeese: Prison Cancellation Will Cost 700 Jobs

Democratic State Representative Bill DeWeese contends the Corbett Administration's decision to cancel a planned 200-million dollar state prison was politically motivated.
DeWeese says Governor Tom Corbett's cancellation of the Fayette County facility isn't about cost-savings and need, but has more to do with the fact Corbett charged the lawmaker with theft and conspiracy in December 2009, for allegedly campaigning with state resources.
The prison would have been located within DeWeese's district.

"He and I have had some challenges, to be polite and euphemistic, relative to the past. But that's in another arena. He's the chief executive of 12.6 million people. My 60-thousand folks elected me to go to Harrisburg and serve, and this is an aggressive slap in the face."

DeWeese says construction on the prison would have begun in a matter of weeks, and the cancelation will cost the district more than 700 jobs.
In the press release announcing the move, Acting Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said the 200-million dollar facility isn't needed, and that other prisons are under-utilized.
DeWeese questions the argument, pointing out Pennsylvania is still exporting prisoners to Michigan and Virginia.
Corbett's spokesman did not respond to calls for comment.

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