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State legislators circulate bill delaying youth prison closure

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Wisconsin State Capitol

MADISON — A bipartisan group of legislators are preparing to introduce a bill that would delay closing Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison by six months.

Former Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill last year that closes the prison near Irma by 2021 and moving the inmates to county- or state-run facilities. The FBI is currently investigating allegations of widespread abuse at the prison.

Gov. Tony Evers says the closure deadline is too aggressive. He wants to keep the prison open indefinitely until replacement facilities are built.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports the new bill would push the closure deadline to July 1, 2021.

Evers isn’t endorsing the proposal. His capital budget included $90 million in borrowing to build three new juvenile facilities but Republicans rejected the spending plan earlier this month.

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