LANSING (AP) — Michigan lawmakers have passed a bill allowing inmates to work for contractors if the state’s prison system turns food service over to private businesses.

The bill passed the Senate by just two votes Thursday and now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder. Inmates routinely work in prison, but a change in law is needed if inmates work for for-profit businesses while behind bars. The inmates would be paid less than minimum wage.

The Senate Fiscal Agency analyzed the bill and said the Corrections Department is considering private contractors for prison food service.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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