TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida prisons are saving money through lower-cost contracts for paper towels, toilet paper and soap while inmates are wearing cheaper shoes in response to a budget deficit that has ballooned to $95.2 million.
Gov. Rick Scott is asking the Legislature to appropriate $74.8 million to cover most of the deficit. That would leave the department responsible for eliminating the remaining $20.4 million through such actions as trading traditional canvas shoes for cheaper, longer-lasting plastic Crocs.
Department of Corrections officials told a legislative panel on Wednesday that such internal cost-cutting steps, though, won't be enough to reduce the deficit to zero when the current budget year ends on June 30.
Corrections Secretary Mike Crews also told lawmakers that health care privatization in South Florida prisons will be completed next month.
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