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Mar 8, 2011 8:31 AM by Greg Boyce

Lawmakers to meet with Bent County officials

DENVER (AP) - State lawmakers are scheduled to meet with officials from a southeastern Colorado city to discuss the possible closing of a prison that residents say will damage the area's economy.

The Joint Budget Committee will meet with Bent County officials this afternoon to hear their concerns as they weigh Gov. John Hickenlooper's proposal to shutter the Fort Lyon Correctional Facility by Aug. 31.  Colorado is facing a $1 billion budget shortfall and the prison is one of the cuts  Hickenlooper proposed. Closing the prison would save the state $3 million this year and $6.3 million every following year.

Bent County officials say the 204 jobs the prison provides are crucial to the area.

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