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House passes resolution backing prison relocation

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SALT LAKE CITY — A resolution backing the relocation of the Utah State Prison in Draper won House approval Tuesday.

HCR8, sponsored by Rep. Brad Wilson, R-Kaysville, cites the nearly three years of study about the move, including a report commissioned by the state's Prison Relocation and Development Authority that recommended relocation.

The resolution, which was approved 70-3 and now goes to the Senate, does not specify where a new prison should be built or what will happen to the nearly 700 acres of prime real estate at Point of the Mountain.

Wilson told the House that separate legislation will replace the authority with a new group of lawmakers and gubernatorial appointees to "start digging" into the issues surrounding the relocation.

He said what his resolution does is "changes the dialog from, 'Are we moving the prison?'" to how, where and when to move the prison, using guidelines such as ensuring a new facility is near staff and volunteers.

The resolution was amended to include a reference to the importance of contracting with county jails. Lawmakers are being asked to increase the funding for contracted jail space, as well as an expansion of the state prison in Gunnison.

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Lisa Riley Roche


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