SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Democratic state senators are criticizing a plan by Gov. Jerry Brown to rent thousands of private prison and county jail cells to meet a federal court order to greatly reduce California's prison population.
Instead, they are supporting a rival plan to spend $200 million this year on rehabilitation programs. The Senate Budget Committee held the first hearing Wednesday on that proposal, by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg.
It competes with Brown's leasing plan, which would cost $315 million in the first year.
Both respond to a federal court order to reduce the prison population by an additional 9,600 inmates by year's end.
The Senate committee advanced the one offered by Steinberg. It relies on getting approval from inmates' attorneys and the courts to delay the deadline for three years.