Lawmakers will get to work next year on funding county jails

(Source: Pxhere/MGN Online)
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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine lawmakers want to take a closer look at increasing state funding for Maine's county jail.

The Bangor Daily News reports lawmakers have kicked back the issue until next year.

The Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee this month voted to kill six bills to increase such funding.

The committee's House Chair Democratic Rep. Charlotte Warren said a workgroup will instead start working early next year on ways to stabilize county corrections funding. The group would include county commissioners and representatives from the Maine Sheriffs' Association and Department of Corrections.

Property taxpayers cover roughly 80 percent of the jails' approximately $90 million cost, and the state pays the rest.

Several jails including Penobscot County Jail in Bangor are at or over capacity and struggling to make ends meet.