Assembly Approves Funds for Lincoln Hills Replacement
Troubled youth prison was supposed to be closed by now.
The state of Wisconsin would fund a replacement for the troubled Lincoln Hills School for Boys after all under a bill that passed the Assembly on Thursday night.
The unanimous vote came just days after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said the measure was unlikely to pass his chamber.
A plan that passed the state Senate earlier this week would set aside almost $42 million in borrowing authority for a new youth corrections facility in Milwaukee County. But Vos criticized the bill because it didn’t include a specific location for a new facility.
Vos backed away from his opposition Thursday, citing a letter from former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch urging him to support it. Kleefisch’s letter also criticized Gov. Tony Evers‘ administration for “bungling” Lincoln Hills’ closure.
State Rep. Evan Goyke, a Milwaukee Democrat who has been active in efforts to close Lincoln Hills, disputed that characterization, but he urged lawmakers to pass the bill and put it behind them.
“Because ultimately, this is about kids,” Goyke said. “It’s about staff. It’s about our communities. Twenty years from now, no one will care about who did what and who wrote a letter.”
“It’s a good bill,” Schraa said. “We’re going to see the Wisconsin model happen.”
The legislation the Assembly passed Thursday included an amendment requiring approval from a local governing body wherever the state decides to build the new corrections facility. That change still needs to pass the state Senate.
Evers’ office didn’t respond to a request for comment about the bill.
Evers’ state Department of Corrections originally called for building a new facility in the Town of Hortonia in Outagamie County, but state lawmakers rejected that plan in 2020, citing local opposition.
Listen to the WPR report here.
Assembly approves funds to replace Lincoln Hills was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.
More about the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Facilities
- Milwaukee Youth Prison Costs Grow 71% - Jeramey Jannene - Mar 1st, 2023
- Eyes on Milwaukee: Council Approves New Youth Prison in Milwaukee - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 17th, 2023
- Eyes on Milwaukee: New Youth Prison Wins Key Endorsement - Jeramey Jannene - Jan 10th, 2023
- Eyes on Milwaukee: New Youth Prison Gains Plan Commission Approval - Jeramey Jannene - Dec 12th, 2022
- Problems, Staffing Shortages Still Plague Lincoln Hills - Isiah Holmes - Dec 10th, 2022
- MKE County: County Hits 4-Year High of Youth in State Prisons - Graham Kilmer - Nov 28th, 2022
- Youth Correctional Facility Faces Obstacles - Edgar Mendez - Nov 12th, 2022
- MKE County: Vote Could Send More Youth to Lincoln Hills - Graham Kilmer - Sep 22nd, 2022
- Lincoln Hills Faces Rising Population, Staff Shortage - Isiah Holmes - Sep 20th, 2022
- MKE County: State Finance Committee Approves Funding For County Youth Justice Center - Graham Kilmer - Aug 16th, 2022
Read more about Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Facilities here