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Corrections chief blasts Senate plan to cut prison spending

(MGN Online)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan's corrections director says a Senate-approved plan to cut tens of millions of dollars in prison spending would lead to layoffs and low staffing levels that would make prisons unsafe.

Heidi Washington lodged her criticism Monday, days after a Republican senator suggested that Gov. Rick Snyder's budget proposal favors inmates over schoolkids. The Snyder administration typically hasn't aggressively pushed back so much in public against spending blueprints passed by the GOP-led Legislature.

Washington says the prison population isn't declining rapidly enough to justify a prison closure and the Senate plan would hurt the Corrections Department's ability to later shut one down.

Republican Sen. John Proos of St. Joseph says cutting the prisons budget would save money that could be spent on education, roads or to give people a tax cut.

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