DENVER (AP) – A dispute over what to do with a former prison in rural southeast Colorado is dividing the state Legislature.

At issue is what to do with the former Fort Lyon Correctional Facility near Las Animas.

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed renovating the former prison as a treatment center for the chronically homeless. But legislative budget writers from both parties disagreed, denying the governor money needed to update the century-old facility.

A bill to defy the budget-writers and fund the prison renovation anyway cleared the House 49-13 Monday and awaits action in the Senate. The bill had supporters and opponents from both parties.

A legislative analysis projects the Fort Lyon renovation would cost about $3 million for each of the next two budget years.

LINK: House Bill 1261

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