Haridopolos fast-tracks privatization billsby Dara Kam | January 19th, 2012
Senate President Mike Haridopolos has fast-tracked two privatization bills, referring them to a single committee before they head to the floor for a full vote.
Haridopolos sent the bills to the Rules Committee that yesterday agreed to allow the measures to get a full vetting.
One of the measures (SB 2038) resurrects a prison privatization plan shot down by a Tallahassee judge last year because of the manner in which lawmakers ordered the outsourcing of the 18-county region of southern Florida’s corrections operations.
The other proposal (SB 2036) deals with Tallahassee Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford’s ruling in the prison privatization case. Under that bill, lawmakers would be able to privatize any state functions by including the outsourcing in the budget state and without having public input until after the deals are done.
Although the privatization effort was not heard in any committees last year, the budget committee debated the proposal after it appeared one of the spending bills, Thrasher pointed out. He said he’s scheduled his next meeting, when the bills will be heard, to run for nearly four hours.
“It will get a full hearing,” Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, said. “We will take those bills up first and we will take whatever time is necessary.”
Lawmakers have not, however, before taken time to debate the measure giving them the ability to include privatization directly in the budget.
“Because we hadn’t had the court decision. Now we’ve got the court decision,” Thrasher said.