More Prison Privatization in Fla. Senate Budget

By: AP
By: AP

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- March 29, 2011 --

The Senate's proposed budget, which is awaiting final committee approval, would turn state prisons in an 18-county area of South Florida over to private companies if they want them.

That's the rub, Sen. Mike Fasano said Tuesday.

The New Port Richey Republican who chairs a subcommittee
overseeing prison spending said at least one major prison company
has told him it doesn't intend to bid due to the high cost of
maintaining Florida's existing prisons.

Fasano's panel proposed a prison budget without the
privatization. Budget Committee Chairman JD Alexander unilaterally
added it to the bill as a cost-cutting measure before it was
published Monday.

Fasano is philosophically opposed to privatizing public safety
services and said he will try to remove it when the Budget
Committee considers the bill Thursday.

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