Senate Proposes a Stand-Alone Bill to Privatize Prisons
Last September, Leon County Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford sided with Florida Police Benevolent Association attorneys who argued that lawmakers should have put the potential privatization of the prisons in South Florida into a separate bill, rather than as a proviso to the budget.
Attorney General Pam Bondi has contested the ruling to the 1st District Court of Appeal.
The bill, SPB 7172, titled Privatization of Correctional Facilities, is scheduled to appear before the Rules Committee on Jan. 18.
The facilities are located in: Manatee, Hardee, Indian River, Okeechobee, Highlands, St. Lucie, DeSoto, Sarasota, Charlotte, Glades, Martin, Palm Beach, Hendry, Lee, Collier, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe counties.
The Legislature had projected the privatization would save $11 million in the current fiscal year. Under the proposed bill, the state is seeking at least 7 percent savings by having the facilities run privately.