The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved a proposal that would re-open the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton. The bill is being championed by State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg). “It’s been made very clear to us that the department of corrections has a prison bed problem and it doesn’t have enough beds in their system,” Miller said. “We have a state-of-the-art facility in Appleton that can service the needs of the State of Minnesota, and utilizing this asset is just good common sense.” Miller's bill, included as part of a comprehensive public safety proposal, would allow criminals to be housed in non-publicly owned facilities. It also would require the State of Minnesota to enter into a contract to operate and purchase or lease to own the Prairie Correctional Facility in order to address prison bed capacity shortfalls throughout the state. Once re-opened, the Appleton prison would provide roughly 300 good-paying union jobs to Swift County residents. “The Department of Corrections came with a proposal last year to build 500 new beds at a cost of $141 million, even though we already have an asset available in Appleton,” Miller said. “I’m looking forward to the Governor listening to our message and hopefully he’ll sign this legislation into law.” The public safety proposal that includes Miller’s Appleton prison bill now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.