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California should sell its prison with a bay view

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Eric Risberg / AP / File

(Read caption) San Quentin State Prison sits near the San Francisco Bay. Guest blogger Matthew E. Kahn writes that the property should be used for real estate development.

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San Quentin Prison sits next to the San Francisco Bay in between Berkeley and Novato. It is rusting away and it sits on some of the most valuable land on the west coast. The state has debated before whether it would be wise to allow real estate development on such a property. I think it should and I bet that this is the tip of the iceberg. California should bundle reform. Under my proposal; voters would vote to simultaneously; agree to sell these assets, raise some taxes (sales tax, vehicle registration tax), and implement a restructuring of public employee pensions moving forward (including raising the retirement age for new hires).

From NPR:

"Assemblyman JARED HUFFMAN (Democrat, San Rafael, California): I think people of all political persuasions look at this massive prison complex right on the water and this world class property on San Francisco Bay and scratch their heads and think, wow, what a crazy place for a prison.

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