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State’s Prison Expansion Plan Faces Another Lawsuit

The state's plan to expand prisons is facing another lawsuit. The group called " Californians United for a Responsible Budget " is challenging the state's authority to finance prison projects using "lease revenue bonds". Those do not have to be approved by voters.

Spokeswoman Rose Braz says the plan moves in the opposite direction of real reform... which is to move people out of prisons.

Braz: Not only is this-all these things a waste of government resources, a violation of our voter rights but it's also a sad state of how we envision the future of California, locking up 53-thousand more people, some of whom are just kids right now.

Assembly Bill 900 was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger last year to address prison overcrowding. It authorizes roughly seven billion dollars in bond funds to add more than fifty-thousand prison and jail beds.

The legislation was previously challenged by "Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety.” That group also said the bonds were unconstitutional.

A spokesman for the Governor's Department of Finance says a history of case law supports using such bond funding.

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