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.

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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.

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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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