Bill to fund construction of Lincoln Hills replacement facility unanimously passes State Senate, Assembly
By Jalen Maki
Tomahawk Leader Editor
MADISON – A bill that would authorize borrowing authority for funding to construct a replacement facility for the embattled Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake Schools in Irma unanimously passed the State Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 22 and was unanimously approved by the State Assembly on Thursday, Feb. 24.
Senate Bill 520, introduced last month and backed by more than 30 lawmakers, including State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Tomahawk) and State Representative Calvin Callahan (R-Tomahawk), seeks to authorize nearly $42 million in general fund-supported borrowing to build a new Type 1 Juvenile Correctional Facility in Milwaukee County.
The bipartisan bill’s unanimous approval in the Assembly came just days after Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) expressed doubt about the legislation passing his chamber.
In a tweet from her official Twitter account on Thursday, Feb. 24, Felzkowski thanked Vos and the Assembly for passing the bill.
“My constituents who work at Lincoln Hills will rest easier tonight knowing there is light at the end of the tunnel,” the tweet said.
In a release, Callahan said he had “met with those who work in the Lincoln Hills facility and heard horror stories about the working environment there.”
“The closure of Lincoln Hills needs to happen and it needs to happen now,” Callahan stated. “With the funding now authorized by the legislature, we have taken a huge step towards finally beginning this process. I hope to see the governor’s signature on SB 520 soon, and look forward to helping the 35th District move closer to closure however I can.”