02/25/19 -- HCS HB 303 -- Establishes inmate canteen fund in treasury
HCS HB 303, introduced by Representative Jim Hansen (Republican - District 40) establishes a fund within the State Treasury for the administration of inmate canteen funds collected from the sale of various items within correctional centers commissaries. During perfection, an amendment was added by Representative Tracy McCreery (Democrat - District 88) that requires the Department of Corrections to provide feminine hygiene products to female inmates free of charge. I supported both the bill and the amendment. Having the canteen funds within a fund in the State Treasury seems to be an administrative improvement over the old system (where each institution would manage their own funds internally). Also, an added benefit of this bill is that is allows the canteen funds to be spent on re-integration efforts that make it easier for inmates to transition back to life in society once they're released.
The amendment seems like basic decency -- if someone is incarcerated, the State has a duty to make sure they are provided with basic medical care.