ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WFRV) — Wisconsin’s Joint Committee on Finance has passed a budget motion to fund the first phase of replacing the Green Bay Correctional Institute.
The proposal, which was introduced by State Representative David Steffen (R-Howard) and State Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), would use $5 million to fund land acquisition, utility services for the site and requests for the new prison’s proposal. According to Representative Steffen, GBCI is in need of $200 million in repairs and has a 45% overcapacity rate.
“GBCI has served the state of Wisconsin exceptionally well for over 100 years, but it is time to move on,” says Senator Cowles. “The commitment that JFC approved today in the state budget for the placement and design planning starts us down the path to replacing the antiquated GBCI with a new, state-of-the-art facility that will be safer for correctional officers, better for the rehabilitation of inmates, and more suited for the community.”
Plans to create new developments at the prison’s current site in Allouez has also been considered. According to a 2018 economic impact study from St. Norbert College, replacing Green Bay Correctional Institution with new housing and business space could create 1,400 jobs and over $1 million a year in property tax revenue.
Democratic Governor Tony Evers has said that replacing GBCI is something to consider, but he did not include it in his proposed state budget. With their motion now passed by the Joint Committee on Finance, both Steffen and Cowles are hopeful that Evers will consider their proposal.