Gov. Andrew Cuomo is asking the state Legislature for authority to close up to three correctional facilities by September.
The proposal is outlined in Cuomo’s 30-day amendments to his 2019-20 executive budget. An amendment to the public protection and general government budget bill would permit the governor to shut down as many as three correctional facilities.
Cuomo would be allowed to close prisons “as he determines to be necessary for the cost-effective and efficient operation of the correctional system,” according to the amendment.
“In my first State of the State address eight years ago, I said prisons are not a jobs program. Since then, I am proud to have closed more prisons than any governor in history and at the same time proved that New York can remain the safest large state in the nation. But we must do more,” Cuomo said in a statement.
If the proposal is adopted, Cuomo would be required to provide at least 60 days notice to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins.
The prison closures could eliminate at least 1,200 beds and save the state at least $35 million, according to a Division of Budget spokesperson. The savings would depend on which facilities would be closed.
The budget amendment and financial plan doesn’t reveal specific prisons that may be targeted for closure.
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