The bill that would permit closing Green Bay Correctional Institution and the construction of a new facility, possibly in Kewaunee County, is scheduled to receive a public hearing in the state Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, and Consumer Protection this week.
State Representative David Steffen, R-Howard, authored the proposal because of significant cost and capacity concerns in maintaining the 119-year old facility, and because the prison campus is being eyed by the village of Allouez as a potential development site.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue discussing this proposal and its benefits to my community and our entire state,” Steffen said in announcing Thursday’s hearing. “The cost and capacity concerns at GBCI aren’t going away and I am dedicated to continuing my work in developing a cost-effective solution to this problem.”
The bill establishes a public/private partnership in which the state would operate and staff the facility, which would be privately constructed and owned. Steffen says this model allows for significant savings of taxpayer dollars attributed to reduced capital and operational costs.
Under the measure the replacement prison could be build in Brown County or a bordering county. The Algoma City Council, Luxemburg Village Board, and Kewaunee County Board have all passed resolutions indicating a willingness to discuss siting the project, with its hundreds of jobs, in the county.
The bill previously received a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on Corrections in May. The Senate committee hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in room 300 Southeast in the State Capitol building in Madison.