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Elected Democrats protest prison in their area

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Posted at 7:33 PM, Aug 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-17 21:33:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- The recommended location for a new state prison is in the state's most diverse and Democratic areas, and elected leaders from that area say Republicans are making an embarrassing mistake.

Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-District 1, said the prison site would take away potential development in the same area.

Escamilla added it would be a scar near the Salt Lake City International Airport and the State Capitol.

"To think that we have 3,000 acres of potential economic development, and to put the state prison there and not think about the potential financial impact and economic impact on growth near the international airport is embarrassing," Escamilla said.

Rep. Sandra Hollins, D-Salt Lake City, pointed to the State Fairpark with its aging buildings as proof of state neglect.

"Not only are the people I represent being ignored, but people in the legislature are ignoring their constituents," said Hollins, referring to polls showing public support for keeping the prison at its current location in Draper.

Hollins and Escamilla were joined by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake City, House