January 27, 2011
Inmates soon could be keeping Virginia's rest stops clean.
A subcommittee of the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a bill that would authorize inmate labor at Virginia's rest stops.
Some legislators were worried that armed guards keeping watch over the prisoners would give the wrong impression to visitors. But supporters assured them that the inmate labor would be performed after hours. Inmates would cut grass, fix roofs and other maintenance.
Former Gov. Tim Kaine shuttered 19 rest stops before leaving office last year in an attempt to save about $7 million a year. Gov. Bob McDonnell ordered the rest stops reopened soon after taking office, vowing to find cheaper ways to operate them.
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