Legislators appeal prison privatization rulingby Dara Kam | October 31st, 2011
Lawmakers have appealed a Tallahassee judge’s ruling that the way they ordered the privatization of prisons in the southern portion of the state was unconstitutional.
Attorney General Pam Bondi filed the appeal late Monday, the last day an appeal could be made. Gov. Rick Scott, whose administration was named in the lawsuit, decided not to appeal Tallahassee Circuit Court Judge Jackie Fulford’s decision.
But lawmakers, who included the privatization of 29 prisons and correctional operations in the 18-county region south of Polk County in the state budget passed this spring, asked Bondi to appeal on their behalf.
“Not only is the privatization of our state’s prisons good policy, but it ensures that our state can dedicate more money to education, health care or economic development programs that would otherwise be spent on prisons,” Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, who pushed the appeal, said in a statement.
Matt Puckett of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, the union representing correctional and probational workers which filed the lawsuit, said his group is “prepared to take this all the way to the Supreme Court.”