MONTPELIER, Vt. — Vermont officials have met with potential bidders to house state inmates residing in a public prison in Pennsylvania where two inmates have died.

Vermont Public Radio reports at least two bidders submitted questions for Tuesday’s conference about the contract. The facilities operations manager for the state Department of Corrections says they expect more bids before the May 16 deadline.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s administration issued a call in March for proposals on removing 260 inmates from Vermont that are being housed at Camp Hill in Pennsylvania.

Vermont houses inmates out-of-state to alleviate crowding in the state’s prisons. Two inmates have died at Camp Hill since October.

Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille says the plan to move the inmates is unrelated to the deaths.