OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Board of Corrections has voted to request nearly $1.65 billion for the Department of Corrections next fiscal year - an increase of $1.16 billion over its request for the current year.
The department received just less than $485 million for the current year as the Legislature struggled to fill a $1.3 billion budget hole.
Corrections Director Joe Allbaugh said in a news release Thursday that the "aggressive request" is needed to repair critical problems and invest in the department's long-term future.
The request includes $10.3 million in salaries that includes pay raises and nearly $849 million for two new, 2,000 bed, medium-security prisons.
Allbaugh says the department has been "largely ignored" for more than 30 years and that Oklahoma taxpayers need to understand "the picture" of state prisons.