Countdown to budget continues reports:

Rich succeeded in knocking out of the budget a cryptic reference allowing the executive branch to proceed with “outsourcing” efforts in the prison system. A bill to privatize state prisons in 18 counties, affecting about 4,000 jobs, was defeated in a 21-19 vote by the Senate last month in the most bitterly contested debate of the session.

As staff went through compromises on remaining items in the budget, Rich flagged the proviso language and asked if it meant the Department of Corrections could act without legislative authority to take bids on prison privatization. The Republican leaders agreed to delete the language from the bill.

Scott can still go back to the Legislative Budget Commission and direct the DOC to seek bids from prison companies.



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