LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A legislative panel has given initial approval to a state prison system plan to spend up to $2 million more this year on overtime pay.

An Arkansas Legislative Council subcommittee on Wednesday approved the proposal by the Department of Correction, which said it has already spent more than $1 million on overtime this fiscal year. A department spokesman said the prison system plans to reallocate existing revenue from its work release program for the additional overtime approved Wednesday. The proposal goes before the full Legislative Council on Friday.

State prison officials have said they’re struggling with a high number of vacancies as they address a violent rash of incidents this year that have included inmate attacks on guards.