Florida Considers Bills to Privatize Government Functions…Secretly

Friday, January 20, 2012
(graphic: RuinsofMorning.net)
Determined to turn over nearly 30 prisons to private operators, the Florida legislature is considering two bills to allow the government to privatize not only penitentiaries but other public operations as well…and not inform the public until after a contract has been signed.
The state previously tried to privatize 29 state prisons. But that effort was derailed by a lawsuit filed by the Florida prison guards union.
So now lawmakers have introduced SPB 7170 and SPB 7172. The bills would allow an agency to avoid publicly reporting its plans to privatize a program or service until after the contract is signed. SPB 7170 would also allow privatization even if an agency did not request it.
Supporters claim the outsourcing of prisons could save the state $45 million a year. Opponents point out that it could also cost nearly 4,000 people their jobs, namely those working in Florida's correctional system. Transparency advocates object to object to proposed reversal of the state and national trend towards open government.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Senate Bill Would Allow Privatization To Be Secret (by James Rosica, Associated Press)

Prison Privatization Drive Alive Again in Tallahassee (by Kathleen Haughney, South Florida Sun-Sentinel) 


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