Prison Privatization Bills Advance in Florida Senate

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A Senate committee has cleared two bills allowing for the privatization of prisons in South Florida.

The rules committee approved the bills (SB 2036 and SB 2038) on party-line votes Monday after more than three hours of debate and public comment.

Dozens of people spoke against the bills. They told senators that prison privatization would put people out of work and reduce public safety. But proponents of the bills say prison privatization will save the state $22-45 million.

The bills were introduced to allow a privatization plan curtailed by a judge. She ruled it unconstitutional because it was part of last year's budget and not a stand-alone law.

The bills next head to the budget committee for consideration. That is their last stop before the Senate floor.

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